When Will China Overtake US (Economy)?

by Janice Giannini

With a deep mastering at the intersection of IT and business strategy, consultant, board adviser and former C-suite executive, Janice has been harnessing the true power of IT for more than 30 years. An Executive and Board-level digital strategist at the intersection of risk and IT, she enhances competitive position through vision and equity with large-scale risk identification, quantification and mitigation in an ever-changing marketplace, generating long-term value for clients. She engages with senior executives and teams, particularly in complex businesses where misalignment is blocking their desired success, to develop and execute practical business strategies and plans. Clients have found her especially helpful when they recognize they must integrate an eagle's eye and worm's eye view in order to identify and remove obstacles. Janice has consistently taken on those challenges that others chose to run from. This typically involves those challenging times when failure is not an option and integrating business, technology and people changes must be accomplished simultaneously. As a result, many of her clients are complex organizations who won't settle for anything less than developing widespread professional competence.

Based on the Economists' projections that you read, somewhere between 2020 and 2040, the economy of China will overtake the USA economy. These numbers change every time there is an updated projection, and the estimated timeframe shrinks. That means potentially every business in the US economy will be impacted in some way. I also share with you the current research that indicates that about 30% of employees' are actively engaged in the business and the other 70% are in various stages of doing the bare minimum to actively disrupting the business.

When I marry these two pieces of information together, the obvious questions arise:

  • What can we do to slow this down?
  • Do we want to slow this down?
  • What can we do to remain the number 1 economy in the world?
  • Can we realistically, remain number 1, over the next 50 years or so?

If we consider just the first question, there may be a lot you can do to slow this down. If only 30% of employees are actively engaged (call this the 30% environment) and every business chose to do what was needed to increase that number to 90% (call this the 70% + environment), the US economy in essence could almost triple. If that happened, how much longer would the US be number 1?

I mentioned this to an acquaintance awhile back and he said, yes but realistically Janice, what can we do? I invite you to consider that you influence your destiny more than you think.

Consider for a moment -what might you do to double or triple your business' productivity and output?

Every day you wake up, you make a choice. And not making a conscious choice is making a choice.

Take the following quiz. Circle the most appropriate choice for how you currently run your business. Score 1 point for each A and 2 points for each B.

(A) Give it your absolute best every day or (B) Do just enough to get by.
(A) Stretch yourself and the total team or (B) Let somebody else do it.
(A) Force yourself to be excellent in your area or (B) Go with the flow.
(A) Hold yourself accountable or (B) Take the easy way out.
(A) Hold team members accountable or (B) Complain and live with it.
(A) Actively work with the leadership to make it more effective or (B) Just do what you are asked and ask few or no questions.

So the real question is - as you compete globally are you going to work with a 30% environment? Or would you rather compete with a 70% + environment?

If you circled responses based on objective criteria versus wishful thinking and your score was 6, you have a chance with continued development to sustain a 70% + environment.

If you circled responses based on objective criteria versus wishful thinking and your score was between 6 and 12, your global competiveness is questionable. So, what can you to move closer to a sustainable 70% + environment?

I invite you to ask yourself these questions:

  • Wouldn't it be great if all of our employees were actively engaged?
  • Am I doing everything in my power, every day, to make this an environment where we are tripling our output?
  • Is everyone in this business doing everything in their power, every day, to make this an environment where we are tripling our output?
  • What is the difference needed in personal performance, company performance, and team performance?

So, when you ask yourself the question, "what can I do" perhaps it starts with those 6 questions. Perhaps it starts with converting the B's into the A's.

To be clear- To run a 70% + business can make your life more difficult for sure. It's not always easy. It will cause you to think about how you spend your time, what you do and what you do not do. You will not be comfortable leaving at the stroke of 5 PM if you are not finished to your satisfaction. It will cause you to put others ahead of yourself. It will cause you to view the world through different lenses. It will cause you to force yourself out of your comfort zone to do what is needed - not what is easy- or more to the point what we have always done.

It can also bring a level for accomplishment and sense of pride to your life as well. It can bring results on a scale that you might not have imagined.

Editorial comment: If you and your peers in the USA tripled your output, how long would it take China to catch up to us then? Is it worth it?