The IPO, the job, the bottom line & the Corporation

This a quote  The Institutional Innovation Manifesto by Umar Haique

The IPO. The IPO window, venture investors will tell you, has been shut down for the better part of a decade. Here's a thought: maybe all the above — reckless banks, overinvesting in yesterday, and tuned-out investors swearing allegiance to yesterday — has more than a little to do with why it's shut. And will stay shut. So instead of hoping, praying, and pleading for it to open, why not reinvent the IPO as we know it? Here's my guess: whoever can conceptualize a better way for companies to get funded, one that doesn't require payoffs through the nose to (dis)investment bankers, enough legal paperwork to bury Jupiter, and the persuasion of institutional investors who should probably be institutionalized for all the care they've shown towards monitoring the health of the companies they own — well, said innovator probably stands to make a fortune.
 The job.
The job. Some call this is the Age of the Internet, the Age of China, the Age of Innovation. But above all, we live in the Age of Dilbert. Or, more accurately, we suffer through it. So why can't we have work that nourishes the mind, body, and soul? Why can't we have work that's meaningful and fulfilling, challenging and compelling, riveting and involving? Work that's not just, well, work, a source of displeasure that pays the bills, but a calling, a mission, a purpose, and a passion, that pays life forward? Here's my hunch. Whoever does reinvent the job might have finally built a company that's so relentlessly innovative, so fully engaged, so unshakably persevering that it reduces pretty much everyone else to a distant second place.
 The bottom line
The bottom line. We've spent decades trying to figure out how to make employees "feel" valued. But we can't seem to do it. Why not? Perhaps we have to work on stuff of authentic, enduring, and meaningful value first. If all you want to do is maximize near-term profit, well, there's little meaning or fulfillment in that for anyone, apart from an emotional zombie or a business school grad (just kidding, folks :-)). To get deeper engagement and commitment from people and more loyalty from customers, companies must do things of higher purpose in the first place. And that means rethinking profit itself, and what counts as real profit — and what just counts as ill-gotten gain. Now, here, let me say: I speak not simply of triple bottom lines. What's not important isn't whether you have three, thirty, or three hundred bottom lines: what is vital is innovating how to conceptualize doing stuff of more authentic worth.
The Corporation
The corporation. I have a theory. Trying to get the corporation as we know it to ignite 21st century prosperity is a little bit like using a water pistol to try and stop climate change. You can fire away till you're blue in the face, but the problem probably isn't going anywhere. It's a futile act — the industrial age corporation, bound to maximize financial profit, bereft of liability, asymmetrically endowed with the rights of people but not their legal, social, human, and ethical obligations, was a tool built for a very different purpose. But just as problems shape tools, so depending on tools recreates problems. Hence, tomorrow's most radical innovators are already starting to reinvent the corporation itself, history's most heavily used organizational form: think forporations and you start to get the picture.


Popular Posts