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Sunday

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Innovation's Nemesis: Wall Street

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by Brian Haven
@ 10:17 PM

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Wall Street... I'm placing initial blame on you. In the 1950s we saw unprecedented innovation, largely fueled by our country's Post War efforts. But the companies that brought all of these new ideas to the market place were a different breed than today's. American business was focused on quality and innovation and not tethered to a rapid and wired stock market. Today, companies are bound to the Street's demand for squeezing profits out of every quarter -- and only business results anchored in those time periods matter. So, we loose long term focus to get a few more pennies out of the stock price.


This short term thinking often fails to accommodate the longer time periods to understand customer needs and develop great, meaningful products. Any request for dollars is met with a response demanding specific financial results within the next 90 days. But beneficial customer insight requires patience and rigor, yielding results that may not be visible until several quarters, possibly years depending on development and manufacturing cycles. The result: all of those crappy products and annoying, irrelevant marketing messages.


What innovation require are senior leaders with the balls to foster a collaborative, discovery driven culture and put some dollars behind initiatives to better understand customer needs as generate as many new ideas as possible.


If that doesn't happen, then just go private.

 

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