ON RISK/REWARD
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Doer: Fintech And Media Pioneer; Solutions-Oriented Mayor; Philanthropist

I was fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981 in part because no one at the firm thought much of my idea for computerizing financial data and analysis and presenting it in real time. Back then, most financial professionals didn’t know how to use a computer, much less have one on their desk.

Organizations resist innovation and those that do inevitably fail because people are more comfortable with what they know than with what they don’t. Looking beyond the horizon and taking risks have always been a core part of our company’s culture, which we brought to New York’s city hall and worked hard to spread throughout city government.

In both the public and private sectors, innovation requires hiring smart, creative and driven people, empowering them to take risks and standing behind them — in a public way — when things don’t go as hoped. The biggest management failures in both business and government are not missed targets but missed opportunities.

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