Lucy Marcus: Are We Erasing the Future?

“In board rooms around the world, companies are making tough decisions about where money is spent, and they are having a hard time justifying investing in their future when their present looks so shaky.”

It’s easy to hack off the younger, less-certain branches of a tree that aren’t yet bearing fruit.  In theory, the loss of a few saplings doesn’t cost you anything in the Now that becomes so important when resources are scarce.  It is only later that you realize what you’ve given up on – the future, the growth, the promise of new things.

Some of my favorite books and films are the ones with plots focused on the What If?  What if Marty McFly fails to get his parents to fall in love back in the 1950’s?  What if that butterfly didn’t flap its wings exactly when it did?

Writing at CSRwire, Lucy Marcus ponders exactly this kind of question as it relates to the choking off of innovation and initiative as institutions aim to get their budgets in order.  Are companies and governments too quick to sacrifice their futures in the blood-spattered Civil War triage tent that is our present state of deleveraging?

I’m tracking a deeply disturbing trend: inception is under attack.

Things that fall into categories of blue-skies, notional and long-term thinking and investments, be it in people, planet, businesses, politics or culture are under threat. The choices that lead to these decisions and cuts are named and blamed on many things – mostly tough economic times, impact investing, tactical concerns – but it all boils down to one thing: we are threatening our future because things that are intangible are easiest to cut in a need to demonstrate results and a drive to look impactful. Anything that is notional, hard to measure, early stage is in line to get slashed. This seems true from notional scientific research to libraries and early child education.

You’ll likely read quite a few things today, many of them urgent-seeming and reflective of the current moment.  This is the thing you should read about how this moment may be jeopardizing the projects and products of the future.


Inception Under Threat (CSRwire)

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Wealthcast Media, an affiliate of Ritholtz Wealth Management, receives payment from various entities for advertisements in affiliated podcasts, blogs and emails. Inclusion of such advertisements does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof, or any affiliation therewith, by the Content Creator or by Ritholtz Wealth Management or any of its employees. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. For additional advertisement disclaimers see here:

Please see disclosures here.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web