Build for the long term

July 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

My thinking is definitely a product of what I read and experience.  Right now, I’m reading Life, Inc., going through some harrowing politics at work,  just read this fantastic Malcolm Gladwell article in the New Yorker today, and we’re all trying to figure out the Zappos.com sale to Amazon.com.

When I put those pieces together, here’s what I get:  in today’s corporate environment, decisions get made for the wrong reasons.  Value systems have shifted.  Focus is on the short term.  Monetize.  Squeeze every penny out of what we can right now.  The end of the quarter is right around the corner.  We’ve been trained to value everything by how much money it’s worth.  And in the board room, we’ve gotten to the point where executive hubris (which is bad enough on its own) might be at the root of the financial crisis (read the Gladwell article before you call me crazy).

But, I think there is hope.  If you buy into Rushkoff’s notion that we’ve been indoctrinated to live our life according to the rules of corporations, then I think we can look to companies like Amazon and Zappos for change.  Their focus on the customer and long-term approach rehumanize the individual.  The Jeff Bezos video was great to watch in that respect; I especially like when he talks about pursuing initiatives that might not have a pay-off for five to seven years.  Refreshing.

Next post I’d like to tie in the Gladwell article & how enterprise2.0 efforts can bring transparency to decision making.

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