Memo to Nervous CEO

24 January 08

The buzz right now is about the dreaded “R” word (you know what I mean – it rhymes with “concession”.) And I know what you’re thinking: is it time to tighten your belt and focus on the short-term? Is innovation – in these uncertain times – an unrealistic fantasy and an irresponsible business practice?

You know what I’m going to say: we’ve been through this before. These times will pass. That shortchanging innovation right now would be a dangerous thing. That when the economy does pick up again, the last thing you want to do is play catch-up. But, that’s just my opinion.

Or I could point to some compelling and hard evidence like earnings announcements. Sure, certain companies have announced some staggering and shocking losses. But, take a look at some of these recent headlines:

“Nokia Profit Soars 44%”
“Nintendo Earnings Nearly Doubles on Wii”
“Netflix Gains Members and Sales”
“Xerox Profit Up 79%”

Is it surprising that companies that have had impressive results also have had excellent track records in innovation? Not to us at futurethink.

It may be tempting to look for short-term answers, but we reckon that having a long-term view is what true leadership is all about. The choice is yours.