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At The Top Of The List

Because of the widespread wreckage caused by the 2008 financial meltdown and the fact that not one single gov-handout-taking banker fat cat is behind bars, I harbor a deep disdain for financial institutions. Since the impeccably infallible Goldman Sux is high on my turd list, I quickly snatched up Steven Mandis’s “What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider’s Story of Organizational Drift and Its Unintended Consequences” to harden my mental model of the company. One of my favorite passages in the book is:

Before this increased emphasis on quantification and accountability, people were willing to make more time for each other and help think through issues. Bankers didn’t worry about filling out time sheets or taking credit. They worried instead more about giving clients better advice. – Steven Mandis

So, if your org’s so-called leadership starts cranking up the volume on “metrics!“, “accountability!“, and/or “performance management!” in textbook MBA fashion, then beware of what the future holds. It simply broadcasts their knee-jerk cluelessness and utter lack of ideas on how to really improve your borg.

turd list

  1. December 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    If you haven’t already, you may want to watch Who stole the American Dream? http://changearc.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/who-stole-the-american-dream/ Will give you a few more institutions and people for your list – I’d be rating Koch at 3 Turds – can hardly wait for the documentary he tried to get banned which was resurrected on Kickstarter.

    I’ve recently watched some episodes of “American Greed”, which gets a bit repetitive as generally people get out of their depth or never do anything and end up running some variant of a Ponzi scheme. The interesting bit is they get from 5 – 150y jail time… as you say, not for the people and institutions who are too big to fail.

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Thanks for the tip. I know enough about the Crotch bros to conclude that they’re really, really bad news for democracy.

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