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19 June 2008

Comments

Shugg

Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, but unfortunately shareholders generally dont take kindly to the "Trust me" approach you advocate if that's the only results they can see.

It might be a matter of trying to invest as little as possible (but still something) in initiatives that create short-term results in progressing towards the goal thus giving the innovators time to do what they have to in order to create the long-term solution.

Art

Shugg, thanks for stopping by. G'day! I just blogrolled you.

Shareholders absolutely should not trust blindly. What they should do is take a hard look at how, and how much management is investing in innovation. That first part -- the 'how' -- is much harder to assess than the 'how much', but absolutely critical.

The point, and I agree it's a high-level ideal, is to trust some -- to trust advisedly. Shareholders and managements ought to trust that active, well-managed, well-funded innovation programs, married to cultures that support them (often harder to pull off), will increase shareholder value more reliably than ones that don't have those attributes.

Even if the goose doesn't lay golden eggs every quarter on schedule, she'll be worth more in the long run. The metaphorical 'dance' management must do involves convincing shareholders that making foie gras -- as enticingly yummy as that idea may sound in the moment -- is fundamentally incompatible with future golden egg production. :)

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