Shift, Stumble and Sway
We have never been as globally connected as we are today. It has become a fact of life that when something happens overseas it ripples across the world quickly and impacts the value of our money, the quality of our investments and all angles of our businesses. Simple examples of the interconnected global economy twisting and turning exist everywhere, from the American debt ceiling debates and Greek austerity, to earthquakes in Japan and labor union strikes in South America. Commerce is no longer local, and in today's world of mass communication when an important event occurs somewhere, the impact is like that of an earthquake and can be felt worldwide in a matter of minutes.
After the quake on the East Coast, my coworkers (all of whom felt the building shake beneath their feet) and I got to talking about the architecture here and the inflexibility of the buildings and bridges. While the earthquake itself may not have ranked high on the Richter scale, our Eastern urban landscape has been constructed quite differently than the high-rise buildings in Los Angeles. Philadelphia's skyscrapers can be seen as a symbol of many traditional businesses: not built to endure seismic shifts. Today there is much talk about retrofitting buildings along the East Coast for quake safety. Granted I'm not an expert on the subject, but I believe the key engineering element in a building surviving the shifts of a powerful earthquake is flexibility.
The key to a building maintaining structure during an earthquake is the exact same key that businesses will need to survive in a global economy, so stay nimble and at the ready for anything. Keep on top of current events across the globe so you can anticipate the impact it will have at home. Keep up to date with technology, it is the life blood of global economies and communications. Maintain a wider net of possibilities, because you you never know where your next opportunity may come from, and above all else, be flexible.