The years ahead will be best for those who learn to balance dreams and discipline. The future will belong to those who embrace the potential of wider opportunities but recognize the realities of more constrained resources, and find new solutions that permit doing more with less.

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, 2011

We Live in a Two-Track World: Low/Slow Growth versus High/Fast Growth

Companies now find themselves operating in a two-track global economy. It is unlike the past economy—the one in the years before 2008. During that time, the world's countries typically all rose together and then dipped together as the global economy became increasingly interdependent. There is no doubt that the world today has countries operating at two different levels (low and high) and at two different speeds (slow and fast) relative to economic growth. At the time of this writing, both the United States and the European Union are facing the prospect of low and slow economic growth for the balance of this decade until the year 2020. Both will be marked by low growth rates—so low that their economies will not be able to create enough jobs to match the size and growth of their respective workforces—especially younger workers. They will also fail to keep pace with generating the tax revenues needed to even begin to deleverage their countries' enormous accumulated public debt, let alone bootstrap new industries. The U.S. economy may be unable to ...

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