It’s His Rice Bowl


‘Creative Destruction’

It’s His Ricebowl!


If you want the metaphor that describes the impact of “creative destruction’… that  in our era of innovation and technological
snip_20170218220657advances like big data and artificial intelligence might have on much of contemporary society over the next couple of years…
take four (4) minutes and watch Steve McQueen in this movie clip from the 1966 film Sand Pebbles. Click Here.  The movie was nominated for 8 Oscars. There are four minutes of superbly crafted metaphor here …so watch it all!

Listen to the last sentence in the scene…’it’s his rice bowl.’ Meaning… it’s how he makes his living. 



Then, fast forward 51 years to a recent discussion in the Leo Burnett Alumni blog. Maarten Albarda, CEO Americas at Flock Associates Limited states, “Yes, I do think marketing job losses due to AI will occur across the spectrum of ou industry.The reason for his optimism? Read his February 13, 2017 commentary in Media Post, AI Is Here To Kill Your Job (2017 Edition) CLICK HERE.


What are we talking about?

‘Creative Destruction’, according to economist Joseph Schumpeter…’the gale of creative destruction’ describes the ‘process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one’

‘Creative Destruction’ is the ‘painful process’ where innovation and technological advance make an industry more efficient…leaving older, less adaptable businesses and people behind. There are those that say that for the economy as a whole, creative destruction is enormously beneficial, permitting a shift of labor and capital from sectors where less is required into areas where new products and services are in demand. That’s what makes economies grow. For many individuals, businesses and communities, however, ‘creative destruction’ is quite painful…job elimination, business restructuring, the disappearance of companies and industries that have provided the economic base for a town or an entire region. 

‘Creative Destruction’ is the new normal. Warren Buffet and the Brazillian buyout firm 3G made a fortune off combining Heinz/Kraft. Several thousand jobs were cut to achieve the financial reward. Jeff Bezos is changing retailing. Mark Zuckerberg is redefining social relationships. Larry Page and Sergey Bern have redefined information acquisition. Elon Musk just might redefine automotive transportation. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft have massive market capitalization … yet have no physical assets in  the traditional sense … they essentially have no physical plant or tangible inventory…they are simply digital. Legacy Media and brick and mortar retailing are the new era failings. Educational institutions, automobile dealerships,  health care insurance and services delivery, manufacturing and the small and medium business might be next.

Whatever the advantages of ‘Creative Destruction’ the economic and social change it inevitably brings, most often leaves major losses in its wake. My friend Dr. Herb Sorensen emailed me a day of two ago and said, ‘…the processes of destruction are best wielded by those proven to have offered humanity something better, more efficient, than what is being destroyed.’

Reread Herb’s thoughts,‘…the processes of destruction are best wielded by those proven to have offered humanity something better, more efficient, than what is being destroyed.’ At this point maybe it’s a good idea to watch the Sand Pebbles clip again. CLICK HERE. 

And…maybe executive-suiteit’s also a good idea to watch the closing scene of the 1954 movie, Executive Suite starring William Holden. There is some good-relevant-drama for today in this one. CLICK HERE.

If you are in the ‘Creative Destruction’ industry complex, your future probably looks pretty rewarding …if the change you are bringing is not about your rice bowl… if instead… it’s about his rice bowl.


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