Can The Dumbest Idea In The World Be Saved?

By Steve Denning – The Economist wrote last week that CEOs like Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever [UL], are starting to sound “disturbingly like spokesmen for Occupy Wall Street” by blaming the ills of capitalism on “the most influential management theory of the past three decades.” Even worse, The Economist continues, “Polman appears to mean it.

Shareholder value is, the traditionalists say, like democracy: it’s the worst system in the world except for those that have been tried. Certainly it has flaws, but there is no viable alternative:

The great virtue of a share price is that it provides a clear external measure by which managers can be judged.

So the idea of having a single unifying focus therefore was good. Unfortunately, the goal chosen was wrong. more>



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