Has the United States become a country of judgers and critics, rather than a nation of problem solvers? When James Cameron offered to help BP control the oil spill in the gulf, many, many, many people left negative comments on the internet. What I didn’t see were comments of curiosity, surprise, or even delight. I would have liked to see a collective light bulb go on across the country. A good director knows how to solve problems, particularly the hard ones. He knows how to find and enlist experts who can contribute to his project. He has experience with not taking no for an answer, but rather challenging people to go beyond their current level of what they think is possible. He knows how to think outside the box and draw from diverse disciplines. He knows that any great project is a collaboration, not the work of one person or one company. This is the type of thinking that is needed to solve the oil spill problem quickly and with as few long term problems as possible. I am not talking about James Cameron the man as much as the way of looking at a problem that he represents. That is what we need.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if twenty years from now a little girl told her teacher, “we are called the ‘United States’ because we are really, really good at solving problems together?” Wouldn’t it be better if it were true, if the US was know for its problem solving expertise the world over?