The New Economy

June 13th, 2002

I’ve been reading John Robb’s discussions of The New Economy with interest.

Companies in the new economy will attract investment and be successful if they can convince the public that they truly embrace a holistic view of corporate health that includes profitablity but not at the expense of ethics and social conscience.

No longer can investors tolerate a decision by a huge conglomerate to ruin the entire local economy of a small city by shutting down a plant that’s making them $100 million a year because they can make $120 million taking the plant elsewhere. That’s NOT a plant that’s losing $20M, it’s a plant that’s making $100M.

No longer will the public willingly give their custom to companies who have been shown to compensate their executives with obscene forgivable loans.

Respect has been absent from corporate culture, as has commitment to long-term viability. Customer and employee loyalty has been ignored.

Employee loyalty has been decimated by the trend to move learning and apprenticeship out of companies and into schools and training centres – getting the employee and the government to supply the education that companies once did. Where once you would join a company and learn the ropes internally, they now require that you come equipped with a particular accreditation in your field, be it insurance, welding, travel agency, real estate.

Customer loyalty has been destroyed by a complete lack of attention to the needs of the consumer in pursuit of “operational efficiencies”.

Companies have to jump on the Cluetrain and start conversing with (as opposed to “at”) their customers.

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