The Atlantic

How to Stop Short-Term Thinking at America’s Companies

U.S. companies are hyper-focused on quarterly earnings. What can be done to push them to invest more in the years and decades ahead?
Source: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

There was a time, half a century ago, when what was good for many American corporations tended to also be good for America. Companies invested in their workers and new technologies, and as a result, they prospered and their employees did too.

Now, a growing group of business leaders is worried that companies are too concerned with short-term profits, focused only on making money for shareholders. As a result, they’re not investing in their workers, in research, or in technology—short-term costs that would reduce profits temporarily. And this, the business leaders say, may be creating long-term problems for the nation.

“Too many CEOs play the quarterly game and manage their businesses accordingly,” Paul Polman, the CEO of the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, told me. “But many of the world’s challenges can not be addressed with a quarterly mindset.”

Polman is one of a group of CEOs and business leaders that have signed onto the American Prosperity Project, an initiative spearheaded by the Aspen Institute, to

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da The Atlantic

The Atlantic8 min letti
The Power Of Fear In The Thawing Arctic
Living north of the Arctic Circle meant learning fear and its power to motivate in the face of danger—whether from a bear or climate change.
The Atlantic10 min lettiPolitics
The 2020 Congressional-Retirement Tracker
For the second consecutive election, more Republicans than Democrats are forgoing reelection, a potentially ominous sign for the GOP in 2020.
The Atlantic5 min lettiPolitics
Why Isn’t Trump Helping the Autoworkers?
The president has been happy to stand up for manufacturing employees on the campaign trail, but has done conspicuously little as GM workers go on strike.