Sunday, March 8, 2009

We need Futurists and not Analysts

Let me define these two terms in my own way. Analysts are those people who collect historical numbers(company quarterly performances etc.) and analyze them to suggest right decisions. Futurists are those people who analyzes future trends and try to suggest better options(which include new thinking, disruptive change ideas). At a high level both analyze the present situation and information available. But there is a small difference. Analysts think in the domain of existing human knowledge but futurists think beyond the obvious. To give an example an analyst will try to explain the Economic crisis in historical terms(like how we managed to rescue from the great depression, how the future stock price should behave based on Technical Analysis etc.). But there is a high probability that this crisis is something completely new and may not be described by any of the past trends. To face this crisis we need new ideas and new solutions. Futurists are the people who will suggest these ideas. Futurists will offer out of the box ideas to fix this great crisis.

Let me tell you why I am frustrated with the analysts. We waste a whole lot of time for analysts. Every quarter we need to show results to these analysts. Many intelligent people need to spend whole lot of time in these crappy number collection, report preparation etc. In one word these are boring stuff to do and does not add any value to the business. What is more dangerous is the short term planning needed for fairing every quarter. Many of the times executives manipulate numbers just to look good. In a complete business cycle you can not be good in every quarter. But the analysts demand that just to keep your stock value afloat. I feel for best results we need long term planning and execution. We need more prudent risk taking attitude and think beyond quaterly results. Many of our excutives waste a lot of time in planning the statement for media and analysts. They can better use this time in research and innovation.

Proper and timely information is needed for efficient price discovery by the market. This helps to reduce account manipulation to some extent. So we can not and should not stop the market reporting process completely. What I am proposing is to try something new. Let's start reporting Half-yearly results instead of Quaterly results. In this way we will keep the best of the both world. Executives will be able to concentrate on long term company performances. At the same time analysts will also allow the capital market to function properly.

No comments: