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Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. Message Board

  • superbmomentum superbmomentum Mar 19, 2012 12:07 AM Flag

    The New "New Era"

    Although, in the past, I have criticized the ill intensions of constant industry criticism, whether internal or external, however, the notion of surprise in the definition of creativity suggests that when we feel ourselves dismissing an idea, we should pause on the thought and work with it; it could contain the germ of an innovative concept. In contrast, the usual reaction at financial firms when someone expresses a contrary point of view is to dismiss it quickly and get on with “serious business.”

    Practically speaking, pausing on a novice thought may be one of the most productive things we can do when seeking innovation. For example, the suggestion that we look at a disgruntled-low level employee’s op-ed piece, is at first, laughable. However, by working with these suggestions, the group might come up, internally, with several innovative ideas for ways to better develop internal procedures and processes.

    To me, firms should stop trying to keep these views hidden and get these voices out there and have others, like me, who hold opposite views refute their viewpoint. This might, hence forth, eliminate the element of negative surprise and potential external “interventions.”

    Furthermore, we should pay attention to these views for another important reason. Consider the difference between judging on process and judging on results. Lower-ranking persons in the industry are judged on both process and results, in fact, owing to the repetitive aspect of their efforts, their process converges rapidly to results. But top management is only paid on result, no matter the process. There seems to be no such thing as a foolish decision if it results in profits. “Money talks,” we are often told. The nucleus of creativity, however, might also lie within these “disgruntled” views, not because these lower level employees are smarter rather it is the “kindergarten-like” environment they work in and the freedom of lateral thought. New ideas are surging when employees are able to freely communicate their innovative thought. Energized companies which want to innovate faster in order to grow larger and gain market share will provide an open forum. I believe this will help executives and other high level members create more integrated platforms. For me, in practice, higher management are reflective learners they learn more about things that they already know something about (depth of knowledge). The innovative thinking of lower-mid level employees is of the wide-ranging. Innovative thinkers use many of the same skills but apply them to breadth of knowledge. The reflective learner often digs deeper; the innovative thinker, in contrast, often ranges wider. A blend of both ways of thinking can be extremely productive.


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    • To view it yet in another way, there is always the risk of ill intensions. Instead of helping the team through the positive scenarios that make a company a good organization, some may simply continue with a naysaying approach and self-interest views. Insisting on selfishly analyzing for weakness, for what the downside might be – trashing businesses instead of building them. They might not adapt to the new goal. But if there is any competence these times call for, it is adaptability. Adaptability requires the flexibility to take into account multiple perspectives on a given situation. Tier-1 firms in this competence relish change and find exhilaration in innovation. They are open to new information and can let go of old assumptions, hence get a feel for how they can regulate this new forum. They can become comfortable with the anxiety that the new or unknown often brings and will be willing to take a gamble on a new way of doing things. This innovative idea offers a model of creative thinking for multinationals seeking to energize their workforce. Coming to such an original decision demands entertaining ideas that may seem too radical or risky, yet having the courage to give them a chance to voice those opinions anyway. The creative mind is, by its very nature, a bit unruly. Self control, in the sense of following the rules, will ensure a successful outcome.

      • 1 Reply to superbmomentum
      • The Random Walk Down Wall Street author is wrong.  Investing is not about mediocre, safe decisions...investing is a means to embrace risk taking and induce excitement, oh yes, and in the process, making more money than the next guy!

        My philosophy is simple. Investing, as in life, is about the competitive advantage in the market place..It's all about performing above the median investor, not matching the performance of a passive index...Perhaps you can blindly pick a precut asset allocation strategy made up of index funds and make some money in the process.  Only problem is, your portfolio will have performed the same as your neighbor, your boss or even the pizza delivery guy!...if you're not willing to take a risk at trying to pick the right investment advice and attempt to beat the passive index, you will forever be stuck in the middle...

        Perhaps its good to view it this way: Imagine you are a spectator at a sporting event and you stand up to get a better view point.  Now if the majority stands up along with you, you will not get a better view point, you will have effectively lost your advantage...

        Or another example:  If you are at the theater and you spot smoke: will you yell fire or will you quietly head for the exit?  If you yell fire, everyone will head for the exits and you might not make it out alive!

        There are times in life when you can practice unselfish behavior, it's just that for me, risk taking is not one of them....

        Alea iacta est!

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