A CEO’s Playbook for Creating Long-Term Value: Ten Essential Resource Allocation Practices

A former CEO of a large and successful public company teams up with a former chief investment strategist and a well-known academic to suggest ten practices for public companies intent on creating long-run value:

  1. Establish long-term value creation as the company’s governing objective.
  2. Ensure that annual plans are consistent with the company’s long-term strategic plan.
  3. Understand the expectations embedded in today’s stock price.
  4. Conduct a “premortem”—and so gain a solid understanding of what can go wrong—before making any large capital allocation decisions.
  5. Incorporate the “outside view” in the strategic planning process.
  6. Reallocate capital to its highest-valued use, selling corporate assets that are worth more to or in the hands of others.
  7. Prioritize strategies rather than individual projects.
  8. Avoid public commitments, such as earnings guidance, that can compromise a company’s capital allocation flexibility.
  9. Apply best private equity practices to public companies.
  10. CEOs should work closely with their boards of directors to set clear expectations for creating long-term value.

These practices, as the authors note in closing, “are meant to provide a starting point for public companies in carrying out their mission of creating long-run value—and in a way that earns the respect, if not the admiration and support, of all its important stakeholders.”