Capitalism has served us enormously well. Yet while it has helped to reduce global poverty and expand access to health care and education, it has come at an enormous cost: unsustainable levels of public and private debt, excessive consumerism, and, frankly, too many people who are left behind
But some skills are becoming more important, such as the ability to focus on the long term, to be purpose driven, to think systemically, and to work much more transparently and effectively in partnerships.
We actually had a ten-year period of no growth, and that forces you to make your numbers or you’re under pressure from your shareholders. You end up underinvesting in IT systems and training your people; your capital base erodes. And bit by bit, you become internally focused, think in the shorter term, and undertake activities that don’t create long-term value. So how do you change that?
Because it takes a longer-term model to address these issues, I decided we wouldn’t give guidance anymore and would stop full reporting on a quarterly basis; we needed to remove the temptation to work only toward the next set of numbers. Our share price went down 8 percent when we announced the ending of guidance, as many saw this as a precursor to more bad news