"Slow Business"

03 Apr 2009|Jennifer Grey

The AIG bonus debacle is last week’s news. Still, I wade through articles and opinions, baffled at what sensible people propose. Most troubling is the call to publish AIG bonus-recipient names and leave punishment to gladiators, er I mean citizens. Sound principles like contract law and employee incentive plans vied for my consideration, and I couldn’t quite land on a perspective.

Finally, Judy Samuelson of The Aspen Institute, struck a chord of sound wisdom and strategy, as she’s wont to do. In her WSJ op-ed piece she points out the effect short-term thinking has on our economy. Time is needed to reach new heights – be it a faster pitch, a masters’ degree or product or service innovation. She calls for long term assessment/rewards related to actions and decisions within an individual’s control, instead of the short-term movement (manipulation) of share price.

Like the ‘slow food’ movement, I like the idea of ‘slow business’. I’ve pretty much had it with the faster, better, cheaper, Fast Company, make a buck and don’t look back approach mastered in the dot com era. There are companies and brands that have gone ‘radio silent’. Others are fighting and dying in the public eye and boardrooms across the world. But some are quietly upping the talent of their team, fine-tuning their offering and focusing on steady, sustainable innovation with an eye beyond the horizon. I’m finally ready to place a few bets.

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