Wednesday, March 07, 2007

balance: focus on financials / foster innovation

Susan Quandt, author of Sudden Impact - Top Business Leaders Reveal the Secrets to Past Success (Jossey-Bass, September 2006), makes the following observation:

In the first half of 2005, more than 770 CEOs left their jobs—a full 90% higher than turnover the previous year. And according to one survey, with the easing of the job market, a whopping 96% of currently employed senior executives expect to change companies…within a year. Another survey of middle managers found that 48% were currently job hunting or planned to start looking as the job market improves.

Here is a telling bit of Q&A around why she left finance/marketing/sales world to pursue a PhD in organizational development at her own company:

Every time I moved to another executive position I kept thinking, “Is this all there is?” I knew something was missing in how companies focused just on their financials, or ROI—return on investment. I did some deep soul-searching and realized the missing component was the focus on people and how they ultimately influenced that ROI. I also could see that the laser focus on financials was depleting organizations of any semblance of innovation, imagination or creativity.

A CEO (primarily of public companies) who fails to balance a focus on financials with an equal focus on building the human capital that is the essential source of their organization's innovation, imagination and creativity. . . hmmm. Have any of you encountered one of these?

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