Longer Employment Contracts?

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The speed of the Internet is pretty amazing.  In an instant a great idea like, say, Carla Emil’s “One Job For America,” can go viral and change the world (let’s hope so).  Businesses such as Groupon can launch with a real monetization plan and become a billion dollar company. Businesses without a real monetization plan can launch (Twitter) and do the same.  Much of it is because of technology and the Inter-nech. 

But commerce in this world is still driven by people, IBM’s Watson aside. And people are often a company’s biggest asset.  If you leave a company they can wipe your hard drive but not your gray matter.  Something learned at company A can be re-envisioned at company B.  There is a lot of churn today in the corporate ranks and the freelance economy is also quite viable.  But I see a change in this churn behavior when I look beyond the dashboard. The Japanese used to talk about “employees for life.”  Well, even though this behavior seems unabashedly un-American, I see us moving in this direction. I expect to see at the top and mid-top levels of American companies employment contracts of much longer durations.  Just as a baseball team wants its #1 starting pitcher around for 7 years, smart companies moving at internet speed need their key difference- makers to stick around.  Had Ray Ozzie signed a 25 year contract, would that have made a difference? How about Tim Armstrong?  

Movement from company to company can be a healthy thing for top executives, but staying and working within the system makes the system stronger.  This I see. Peace!