This question has a big chance of getting closed due to the answers you will get are going to be mostly opinion based. But here is my 2 cents.
Production systems are reliant on stable releases of operating systems. If you install the latest and greatest kernel/patch/update on your system, you don't know what deficiencies lurk in the short time ahead. I am not underestimating kernel developers'abilities, but at the end they are also human. There are things that gets forgotten to be checked in their code and one of those "forgotten" things may come to bite you. Then, they say, "Oooohhh, we forgot it" and issue a patch.
Repercussions of this even are two fold. One, when you experience this unchecked condition come to real life, your system may experience and outage. Not good if you are talking production server(s). Management will not take it lightly. Two, probably you will need to take the system down to fix/upgrade it. Here goes another outage, even if it is weekend. night or whatever, outage is an outage and production server owners do not like it. Think about a corporation like Walmart. Their stores never close fully. So, a minute of down time of their production servers means incredible gobs of money.
And fresher the kernel you install, much more likely that you will find yourself in the position of patching more and more. Hence people say, wait at least 6-12 months of real world testing of any new OS release, before you put it on your production servers.