Short Term Thinking. How reliance on formula reduces innovation. American Business is increasingly reliant on short term thinking and ‘templates’ or formulaic approaches. The least revolutionary kind of innovation – improvements in finance, procedure, cost controls and personnel – are increasingly the only kind of innovation in the corporate world. Meanwhile, innovations that create new products, new markets and revolutionize thinking are in short supply. What started as a conversation between two old radio friends about the broadcasting business sparks some ‘slash and burn’ thinking about business in general. Why do some businesses rely on formula so much? When are formula’s good. When is it best to trash the formula and let the inmates take over the asylum? (Editors Note: The best jobs I’ve ever had in radio, the best experiences as a creative person in broadcasting happened when the inmates were running the asylum. In fact, that used to be our business model!) These days it seems like formulaic thinking has invaded politics, movies, radio, music, television … really almost everything. And, we’re choking on it. Is it possible one of the reasons so many people remain out of the work force for extended periods of time is because they’re sick of implementing plans from the corporate office? Maybe what we all need is to throw the formula out and start doing whatever we want. To be sure, there will be mistakes, and failures, but there might also be some great successes. Some of the things business does, it does because of formulas developed 20, 30, 40 even 50 years ago. Back in the day, those formulas may have made sense but now they bear little resemblance to new market contours. If the United States wants to maintain its position in the world, we’re going to have to set our workers free; Free to think, free to make mistakes and free develop the kinds of new strategies that revolutionize markets. The response to almost every truly revolutionary idea has always been, ‘You can’t do that’, or ‘It sounds like crap’, or ‘Why would anyone want that?’. Or worse, ‘That’s not the way we’ve always done it’. Our strength has always been in the skunk works, the garage, the basement and backyards, and with the so called ‘crazies’. Rules are made to be broken. Why don’t we start breaking some? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar.