The Over-Caffeinated Entrepreneur
Is running a company like U.S. foreign policy?
David J Dunworth O. C. E.
Although I have strong political opinions and feelings, I don’t normally express my political views in print, or for public consumption in any medium. I am proud to be a U.S. citizen, a Viet Nam Era Veteran (USAF 1970-1977), a patriot. Yet I can no longer sit by and silently watch what is happening. I have elected to depart from my abstinence.
I write this piece while viewing the current actions our military is taking, as ordered and supported by President Obama yesterday. The similarities of current foreign policy may be much like running a company, and here is why or why not, at least in my opinion.
Stock Photo of President Obama
♦ It is better to improve and reinforce internal operations to better secure the company’s future than it is to ignore the challenges with operations and focus all of our resources to external markets.
♦ If a company cannot afford to grow the staff due to economics, yet desires to invest human, financial and operational resources to enter new markets, nothing good will come of either action.
♦ The public relations department had better send the proper messages regarding market expansion, lest the marketplace lose belief in the brand.
Internal versus External: Our current economic situation in the United States is one of significant recession, huge deficits and a snail’s pace of improvement in our situation. Jobs is our number one priority is repeated by every politician who’s face is in the news media, and everywhere in print. Yet, even with that purported attitude, we focus our military and economic attention externally by intervening in Libya. With the supposed support of other governments like France and Britain and support from the Arab community, we began firing cruise missiles into the Libyan Civil War. What are we doing? Don’t we have enough to concentrate our military and economic resources on without getting involved with a tyrant that has been doing everything he is being criticized for today? I think not. But I am merely a taxpayer. My opinion doesn’t matter, does it?
What’s the Outcome? When a CEO invests resources into a new project while ignoring the deficiencies and shortcomings of existing operations, he is taking a huge risk. Usually investments are budgeted for, expectations are that a profit or some worthy contribution to the betterment of the firm will occur. What is the planned outcome? What benefit will be gleaned from the actions being undertaken at the expense of the company’s resources?
Is there anything good to come from our nation’s current actions? Invasion operations began March 19, 2010, after more than a month of looking on. It may not be reported by the media that it is an invasion, but what does one call bombing another country? It has been reported by the White House (while the President is out of the country in Brazil) that our actions are “humanitarian” by supporting the civilians against slaughter. If bombing the country is humanitarian, then I am a walrus. We are supporting the “opposition party” which consists of civilians against the current government of Libya, inundated with declared Al Qaeda operatives. What will the repercussions of our actions be? After all, we are in Iraq for 10 years, when it was originally “an in and out” action.
Public Relations and a Bad Nights Sleep! Usually when a company does something that the shareholders/stakeholders don’t support, PR problems are inherent. If the firm supports say, a non-profit for no more than humanitarianism, and they really are doing it to gain new market share, the fallout is not easy for the company to put a positive spin on. Loyal customers lose face, the brand suffers and nobody ends up with for what they originally set out. John Quincy Adams once stated, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Yet here we are on another “humanitarian” involvement.
The leadership of the free world is under a microscope; it always has been and will always be. The U.S. has been perceived as a bully, imperialist, opportunist and less frequently, as savior of the free world on many occasions; our eyes often blackened for our actions, notable or not. The involvement in civil wars of other countries is never a good idea, as history proves the war is extended. Our involvement in this civil war will not bode well for us in the end; it never does for any government on so-called “humanitarian” missions.
Is now the time to get involved in someone else’s civil war? Why not fix our infrastructure, shore up our economy through investment in innovation, and help entrepreneurs and emerging enterprises grow our economy? Investment in green technology, innovation and entrepreneurial fervor is a brighter path for our nation to take than getting involved in yet another war.
Because firing Tomahawk Missiles into North Africa makes a strike for “Democracy” and “Humanitarianism.” Merely focusing our national attention internally doesn’t make the headlines, sell newspapers and gain votes for re-election, that’s why. But you know what the cliché is; opinions are like noses, everybody has one. This is mine. Maybe it’s the caffeine.