My Own Plan for Economic Stimulus

At some point today, President Obama will sign a gianormous bill aimed at jump starting the economy.  What I wonder is… what does the bill change about how we will do all those projects?  How much is allocated for programs that will help us to not use that money to recreate conditions that got us here.

  • How many more bridges and roads will we build without budgeting for their maintenance?
  • How many more programs will we fund that we will either leave to their own devices or oversee into oblivion?
  • Where in the line items is the permission to spend, nevermind allocation for, the kind of executive development that will support leaders in changing how companies operate to prevent us finding new ditches and running into those the way we did the current goup?

This posting at Great Leadership pokes some fun at leadership development programs designed to be reported in the WSJ.  But if the money provides us the resource to do more of what we have done in the way of leading our institutions to short term ends, all we will buy with it is a new gun to shoot at our own feet.

I am not arguing for a different economic policy here.  Everyone in that fight is way too certain that they are right.  (and let’s face it… NO ONE knows who is right.)  I would just like to see us spend some money on re-engineering the way we do business so that we do not recreate our problems.  Yes folks, I am talking about leadership development here.  Most attention to changing the rules seems to be in the form of regulation rather than rethinking.  Somehow we have to get values and longer term thinking back into the equation.

Sometimes, what relieves the immediate pain does nothing to treat the underlying injury.  So the surgery is a success, but the patient still dies.  (oh- and the surgeon gets paid!)  Let’s earmark some of that money to develop leaders who can look past the immediate issues to those that cause the woes in the first place?