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怎样才能化解人类资源危机?

2014-04-10    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

作者 Brian Dumaine

传统观念认为,地球的资源总有耗光的一天,届时人类将走向灭亡。但罗杰斯认为,借助新的工业革命,采用新的技术,抛弃传统能源消费观,人类可以大幅提高资源生产率,避免这个危机。

Over the next 15 years, another 2.5 billion people in the developing world will join the middle class. China will add 2½ new cities the size of Chicago every year for the foreseeable future and will have 221 cities with over a million in population by 2025 (compared with 35 cities this size in Europe today). That kind of growth is going to create an unprecedented demand for oil, gas, steel, precious metals, water, and other precious resources. If we keep on our current course of consumption, commodity prices, food prices, and pollution levels are likely to spike, greatly increasing risks for business.
未来15年,发展中国家将有25亿人进入中产阶级。在可预见的未来,中国每年将诞生2.5个规模相当于芝加哥的新城市;截至2025年,中国人口超过百万的城市将达到221个(目前,欧洲百万人口城市仅有35个)。这种增长速度必将使得石油、天然气、钢材、贵金属、水和其他宝贵资源的需求出现前所未有的增长。如果我们继续当前的消耗水平,商品价格、食物价格和污染水平就会激增,给商界带来日益严峻的风险。

In their insightful new book Resource Revolution: How To Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century McKinsey director Matt Rogers and Stanford Professor Stefan Heck lay out a compelling road map for how managers need to change the way they think about resources if they want to not only survive but also thrive in the 21st Century.
麦肯锡(McKinsey)董事马特•罗杰斯和斯坦福大学(Stanford)教授斯蒂芬•赫克在合作撰写的新书《资源革命:如何抓住本世纪最大的商机》(Resource Revolution: How To Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century)一书中颇有见地地提出了管理者应该如何改变对资源的认识,才能让自己的公司在21世纪不仅生存下去,还能茁壮成长。

Fortune's Brian Dumaine caught up with Matt Rogers recently to discuss the book, which will be published on April 1.
《财富》杂志(Fortune)的布莱恩•杜梅因近期采访了马特•罗杰斯,讨论了4月1日出版的这本新书。

The conventional wisdom about resources is that we're running out, and we're all going to die. But you believe we're about to enter what you call a a resource revolution and that it will be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.
传统的能源观念认为,我们即将耗光资源,人类将走向灭亡。但你们认为,我们会进入一场所谓的“资源革命”,而这将是21世纪最大的经济机遇。

Over the next two decades global growth will stress our resources, and that has a lot of people concerned. What gave us confidence to write the book is that we saw that you could combine advances in nanotechnology, materials science, information technology, and biology with traditional industrial technologies and meet resource requirements more easily than most expect.
未来二十年,全球经济增长将导致我们面临资源压力,许多人已经对此心存忧虑。而我们之所以有信心写这本书,是因为我们看到,人类可以将纳米技术、材料学、信息技术和生物学的进步与传统工业技术相结合,来满足资源需求,而且难度要低于大多数人的预期。

Can you give us an example?
能举个例子吗?

If we want to conserve our resources, we need to see big jumps in productivity, and that means fundamental changes in the way we make products and work with our customers. We're talking about 10X productivity improvements. We like to joke that you buy a car in order to park -- typically we only use our cars 4% of the time, and half of that time cars sit idle in traffic or looking for parking. This is where new business models like the car sharing service Zipcar, and online taxi companies like Uber and Lyft come into play. They can help increase usage of cars, and that means that we won't have to build as many cars for an increasing population. You might even say we might hit peak demand for autos at some point. Many of the new generation don't want to spend a large chunk of capital to own a car.
要想节约资源,我们必须大幅提高生产率,而它意味着要从根本上改变我们生产产品和应对客户的方式。而这种跳跃是要将生产率提高十倍。我们喜欢开玩笑说,你买一辆车就是为了停车——我们使用汽车的时间往往仅有4%,而其中有一半的时间汽车是在空转,或者是我们在给它寻找停车位。于是各种新型商业模式就有了用武之地,例如拼车服务Zipcar、在线出租车公司Uber和Lyft等。他们可以帮助提高汽车的使用率,这意味着我们没有必要因为人口增多而增加汽车生产。大家可能会说,我们对汽车的需求可能在某个时刻达到顶点。许多年轻人并不想花一大笔钱来养一辆车。

You also say in the book that another way to save resources is to see equipment as a service.
你在书中还提到节约资源的另外一种方式,也就是将设备看成一种服务。

Yes, GE (GE) now sells jet engines by the hour of use. GE owns the engines and does all the servicing. It has sensors on engines today that let them monitor and repair them. The company can keep these engines running longer and better than the airlines can. The operational savings are significant -- the airlines don't have to buy as many planes because the ones they have are in the air longer. GE is starting to do the same thing with medical equipment, and even oilfield equipment.
没错,通用电气(GE)现在就在按使用时间出售喷气式引擎。通用电气拥有引擎,同时提供所有的维护。引擎上配有传感器,使通用电气可对引擎进行监控和维修。相比航空公司的维护,通用电气自行维护可以让引擎保持更长时间的运行,提高运行效率。由此可以节省巨额运营费用——航空公司无需购买更多飞机,因为他们拥有的飞机可以飞行更长时间。通用电气开始在医疗设备,甚至油田设备领域采用同样的模式。

Isn't this putting a lot of faith in technology to save us?
是否可以说,我们有信心用科技拯救人类?

The technology is there today. The biggest thing that can go wrong is that management is slow to react to the kinds of change we're seeing and keeps trying to do things the old way. Not enough executive teams know how to pull this off.
技术已经有了。最有可能出现问题的是管理层在应对变化时行动迟缓,一直试图遵循陈旧的工作方式。还没有足够多的高管团队知道如何去实现它。

What kind of new management mindset is need?
它需要什么样的新型管理思维?

It starts with the idea that you have to measure your resource productivity. It's a management measure that almost no company does well today. Most CEOs can tell you about their return on capital employed or output per employee, but almost none of them can tell you about resource productivity.
首先是,必须计算资源生产率。目前,几乎没有哪家公司能够很好地执行这一管理措施。大多数CEO会告诉你他们的资本回报,或员工人均产出,但几乎没有人能告诉你资源生产率。

Then what?
然后呢?

If you're the CEO you should be asking your folks, How do I improve resource productivity 5 t0 10% each year? That's a high bar. For the last 20 years we've improved resource productivity only 1% a year compared to more than 3% for labor productivity. You have to think across your business system and figure out dramatic ways to increase your resource productivity. Ask questions such as, How do you take 80% to 90% of weight and cost out of a product, how do you take commodity price and availability risk out of the supply chain, where are there opportunities to double equipment utilization or cut water use by 80% or cut energy use by 40%?
如果你是一名CEO,你应该问问自己的下属:我应该如何将资源生产率每年提高5%至10%?这是一个很高的标准。过去20年,我们每年才能提高1%的资源生产率,而劳动生产率的提高幅度却超过3%。必须从整个业务系统的角度进行思考,找出提高资源生产率的有效方法。可以问这样的问题:如何将一款产品的重量和成本减少80%至90%?如何从供应链中去掉大宗商品价格与可用性风险?是否有机会将设备使用率提高两倍,进而减少80%的水资源消耗或40%的能源消耗?

You argue that the resource revolution will help create decent-paying American jobs, but history teaches us that technology and efficiency can destroy jobs.
你认为资源革命将帮助美国创造收入丰厚的工作,但历史老师教导我们,科技与效率会毁掉工作岗位。

Every time we have this kind of major economic transition, a group of people will lose their jobs, but the increase in productivity that comes with an industrial revolution will in the long term foster job and wage growth.
每一次这种巨大的经济转型都会让一些人丢掉工作,但工业革命带来的生产率的提高,从长期来看将增加就业,提高工资水平。

What we have in America today is this very interesting paradox. We have a number of fast-growing job categories where you can't find enough workers because the candidates don't have the data-intensive blue collar skills required to operate today's sophisticated equipment. At the same time, some more traditional industrial jobs are disappearing. It's a race. Can we create new jobs faster than we destroy them?
目前,在美国存在一种非常有趣的自相矛盾的情况。一方面,许多增长迅速的就业领域没有足够的工人,因为求职者不具备操作精密设备所需要的数据密集型的蓝领技能。而另一方面,许多更为传统的工业岗位却在消失。这就是一场竞赛。要看创造新工作的速度和毁灭工作的速度,哪一个更快。

What will these new industrial jobs look like?
新的工业岗位会是什么样子?

The kind of economic changes we are talking about tend to push more information and decision authority out to the frontline work force, increasing the value that each frontline employee can deliver.
我们现在谈的经济变革将把更多信息与决策权下放给一线工作人员,进而提高每一位一线工作人员所创造的价值。

What we have seen every time, though, is that this shift in the means of production works out. If we don't have to worry about, say, high oil prices because we're using our resources more efficiently, companies can and do spend more on highly productive labor. It's going, however, to take some training for workers to take on these new roles.
但我们已经看到,这种隐含在生产资料中的转变每次都能得以实现。比如,如果我们不必担心高企的油价,因为我们可以更有效地利用资源,公司可以在高生产率劳动力上投入更多。但这需要对工人进行一定的培训,让他们承担新的职责。

Big corporations aren't known for embracing radical change. What's it going to take to make them lead a resource revolution? A crisis?
大公司往往不会主动迎接激进的改革。如何才能让他们引领资源革命?需要一场危机才行吗?

We had a wake-up call in 2007 and 2008 when energy prices spiked. More recently food prices and metals prices are running up. Corporations now see more risk in terms of how resources play a role in their business. Look at China. They're working like crazy to reduce their vulnerability to environmental exposure and resource price-spikes, while meeting their economic growth targets.
2007年和2008年能源价格暴涨,给我们敲响了警钟。最近,食品价格和金属价格也在不断上涨。现在,各家公司已经认识到资源在自己业务中的作用所带来的风险。中国就是一个例子。他们一方面要实现经济增长目标,一方面又在努力降低在环境风险和资源价格暴涨方面的脆弱性。

Do you think we'll make it?
你认为我们能够做到吗?

The challenge of this revolution is that it makes managers' roles change in fundamental ways. I'm optimistic that we can adapt. For the first time entrepreneurs and environmentalists are aligned by common interests: how to do more with less in the face of exploding demand.
这场革命的挑战在于,从根本上转变管理者的职责。我乐观地认为我们能够做到。这是企业家和环保主义者因为共同的利益第一次达成一致:面临爆炸性增长的需求,如何用更少的资源做更多的事。(fortune)



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