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Manage Like an E

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 09-13-2007 Print

One of the reasons companies often get caught behind the change curve is that it is very difficult for talent and capital resources to be quickly reallocated around new opportunities. Companies tend to over-invest in what is at the expense of what could be, not because people fail to see the new opportunities, but because existing programs and initiatives have powerful constituencies who want to hang onto their resources and their people. If you look at any electronic marketplace, take NASDAQ for example, capital flows very quickly to the new ideas and new opportunities. The same is going to be true in companies.

Take everyone in a large company who has a discretionary budget of more than $100,000 per year. What if you said to those individuals, take 1 percent, 2 percent, 3 percent of that budget and invest in any idea anywhere across the company that you find interesting; you could form syndicates with other people to form bigger ideas that require more resources. The Web makes it very easy for buyers and sellers to find each other and one of the challenges in larger organizations is how do you make it easy for people with new ideas to find the resources. Because in a bureaucracy, typically, if I have a new idea, the only place I could get funding is up the chain of command.


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