The news this week that Holden was leaving Australia was shocking, but should it have been expected? When the last Nissan rolled off the line in 1992, when Mitsubishi left in 2008 and when Ford announced their departure recently, was the writing on the wall and why is it so difficult for us to deal with?
When any major change comes our way our response is tempered by our hope and options for the future, if there are many the response can be more pragmatic, but if there are none then the response is one of loss and despair for what the future will hold.
This is why it is so important to innovate. Innovation creates options – even as you are extracting value from your current idea, if you are developing your next one, then you are less vulnerable to surprises or market changes.
I remember when we spoke about being “the clever country”, our ability to come up with amazing ideas (all needing to be commercialized) should not be underestimated.
Had we spent more time developing the next big idea for manufacturing rather than just letting it die, the shock and horror felt around Australia this week may have been tempered by hope for the future.
If we think big enough we could create new industries and maybe even create the 21st century version of leading edge manufacturing.