Unlocked Potential = Competitive Advantage + Increased Market Share
What's the cost to businesses, organizations and countries that do not unlock the potential of its greatest resources, its people, products & processes? The cost is low productivity, performance & profitability and most of all a reduced competitive advantage as discovered through the world's failure to unlock the potential of Rare Earth Minerals. Rare Earth Minerals are an essential part of almost every technological device on the market today, like cell phones, cameras, televisions, headsets, hybrid cars, wind turbines, military devices, etc.
According to the Green Technology Market Research report, "The rest of the world was asleep as China grew to become a goliath in the rare earth industry. It took the rest of the world 20 years to wake up to the realization that the future of high technology could be in the hands of this one supplier. While there may be ample rare earth elements in the earth’s crust, the challenge is in locating reserves worth mining and putting into place the infrastructure and processes necessary to mine and process them. China produces 96 percent of the world’s rare earth metals. Industrialized countries have realized that with a monopoly position, comes responsibility. The acquisition of mining technology, transportation for the materials, making mining machinery available, and processing of the raw materials is difficult. According to Susan Eustis, lead author of the study, 'All of these steps to rebuild the industry outside China could take up to ten years. In the meantime, China has a huge lead in educating engineers and scientists and in all aspects of the rare earth metal industry. This is a topic that has been neglected in the US and the western world until now.' It has not been glamorous or interesting to professors, universities, and most of all students. It is set to become more significant in many countries. The fundamental aspect of rare earth metals implementation relates to efficient extraction of the minerals forms deposits in the earth. Markets at $1.4 billion in 2010 are anticipated to reach $4.1 billion by 2017.Market growth comes as energy efficient units are built using rare earth elements."
The benefits of unlocking Rare Earth Elements from the earth were available to all, but only one country had enough vision to see and invest in unlocking its potential. Likewise the businesses, organizations and countries who unlock their employees' potential will be the most competitive in relationship to increased productivity, performance, profitability and market share.