Week 282 in Detroit. I thought it might be fun to write about innovation. It’s one of those things that seems to mean different things to everyone.
I’m thinking a lot about “my definition of things” lately. A job change will do. As my friend Brian observed about SCOJ 281 — “you are working out your own definition of culture and company leadership.” I also think this is happening more and more across the country, especially at large organizations.
We’re in a state of change across tech (as always) but broadly in corporate America. It’s inevitable after a global event like COVID-19; yet it may have accelerated the existing generational clash as elder Millennials (age 39 and older) reach mid-level and senior leadership positions within companies. The unpredictable part, however, is when the results will be felt.
For instance, the decisions about remote work versus in-office policies were felt fairly quickly as state governments and the federal government updated public health protocols. Decisions about how employees felt about their work and their company is coming in waves. Many are calling 2021 the Great Resignation but my sense of the impact for individuals and companies is just beginning.
The reaction of many to this week’s news about Facebook — the combination of a whistleblower lawsuit (note the whistleblower falls into the elder Millennial camp) & her subsequent testimony in Congress to the massive global outage of the platform’s apps — is a precursor or potential example of internal and external expectations on massive companies. All companies, all brands face expectations in one way or another — employees, investors, customers, partners, regulators, etc. These expectations, collectively, have never been higher. In some sense, you could argue that Facebook had plenty of opportunities to address growing expectations (“with great power comes great responsibilities”) but what will be increasingly difficult is that these expectations are at cross purposes.
For example, Matt Levine’s Money Stuff blog on 10/4 articulated the complexity well. Facebook is being sued for maximizing profits on behalf of shareholders. The claims of omitting information for investors or shareholders to consider generally revolves around long-term value not profitability.
Here’s how Matt puts it: “That the shareholders are harmed by the company maximizing profits more than they expected? I don’t mean…