Shareholder Value is the End

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Shareholder Value is the End
Jean-Philippe THOME, CEO, France

The Shareholder value principle is nothing else than the beginning of the end for a company. I've been facing years ago with a situation where I was involved in advanced project management when The CEO retired and a new one was nominated. The formal one was a man of the future, with a clear strategic vision and a clear roadmap to deploy. The new one had another mission : increase shareholder value. All advanced researches were cut to derive the so called "short term benefits".
Two years later, the company was facing serious difficulties and the new CEO was fired by the Administration Board for lack of results!
Was he really the only one to be guilty ?!?!

Shareholder value thinking is NOT short-term oriented
Philip, UK
I believe you are making at least 2 thinking errors, Jean-Philippe. The first one is that you motivate an extremely broad statement with just one example. The second mistake is actually made by many people and popular journalists: you assume that shareholder value thinking is equal to or correlated with short term orientation. Of course there are bad exceptions, but in general there is no such relation. If you consider that most shares in the world are held by large institutions with multi-year investment strategies you immediately see why.

Shareholder Value Creation
Nilesh Borde, India
SVC is indeed not a short term phenomenon. Companies should articulate the need for SVC in their vision & mission statement.

Shareholder Value Must Flow Down as a Goal
Vipin Pillai, Manager, United Kingdom
What Jean-Philippe has highlighted is a classical issue that is recurrently happening within several organisations. One of the causes of this issue is that of CEOs missing a deep rooted history of the particular organisation. Career minded CEOs often get into the spotlight with short term goals identified by indicators like big cuts, loss of intellectual property and acquisitions with poor integration. The CEO shows a short term cash flow and when the long term struggles start, receives a huge severance and leaves the job to pick up another role.
It is not a very grim picture everywhere. However, the last decade has seen the core of it. The credit crunch and the recession stand in testimony of this short term behavior.

Shareholder Value Thinking:
Jean-Philippe THOME, CEO, France
I come back some years later to confirm to Philip (U.K) the destructive power of "Shareholder Value". Due now to my relatve broad experience in both Big Groups and SMEs (I'm 60 now!)dedicated to advanced research and innovation, I've seen in all my experiences that SHV is in any case incompatible with innovation.
Innovation is the future of industry (everything which is not progressing is regressing!) SHV is the present whatever Philip said! Innovation is risk oriented while SHV is totally financial security oriented. The value of an innovative company is driven by the ability to manage both risks and time (The right product to the right market at the appropriate time). While SHV implies an ROI agenda which doesn't in any case allow any deviation.
I had the big chance to meet CK PRAHALAD (Book:"Competing for the Future") in Ann Arbor University. He demonstrates in his book how big traditional "finance"-driven companies failed compared to innovative risk oriented companies.


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