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After spending last week at SCIP09 in Chicago, I was reminded of how competitive intelligence people in corporate roles are often confronted by the same sort of executive myopia we see in this infamous scene from the Farrelly brothers’ classic “There’s Something About Mary“.
The lead character, Ted (Ben Stiller) picks up a hitchhiker (Harland Williams) who explains his breakthrough idea designed to reshape the landscape of the personal fitness industry by improving an existing competitor’s value proposition in a way that makes the current offer obsolete – “7 Minute Abs“… enjoy:
What struck me funny was, if you transpose the hitchhiker as CEO and Ted as CI practioner, you get some valuable takeaways for how not to manage the function… or maybe companies should just start by not picking up hitchhikers and making them CEO.
Some of the excerpts from the rest of this interview suggest to me that the buy-and-hold philosophy of long-term investing is not just obsolete, it’s a sucker bet that makes the Madoff Ponzi scheme look tiny in comparison… does anybody else wonder if stock market investing is an archetype for Ponzi/Bubble dynamics that leaves the 401K investor without a chair whenever the music stops?
If that’s the case (and investors seem to be voting with their feet by delevering assets out of securities, this week’s rally notwithstanding) then it’s not just a lack of trust and confidence in capital protection and growth, it’s a matter of getting out before the market crashes further as assets continue to limp along… potentially for years to come.