Saturday, June 06, 2009

Marty, you've got it wrong ...

Over at WaPo's "Leadership Page," Co-founder of the leadership-focused consulting firm, Cambridge Leadership Associates, and teacher at the Harvard Kennedy School, Marty Linsky (who also blogs at Linsky on Leadership), threw this bit out there,
The country is moving into new terrain with General Motors. This is a high risk experiment, and no one knows whether it will work. If GM was too big to fail before, the downside is even worse now.
No, we have been down this road before. Remember the promises, good intentions, and fudge that went into the Government Sponsored Enterprises Freddie and Fannie? They became, over time, nothing but a patronage op - giving millions to political insiders who didn't know squat about mortgages. They became nothing but political.

I have trouble that Marty cannot make the connection when he smells it all over the place.
The danger is that GM will be politicized and become part of the pulling, hauling and horse trading that happens among all of the issues facing the country. The federal government now has a conflict of interest. As a dominant shareholder, there is a huge stake in a quick turnaround. But there are also compelling and competing stakes in other issues, like labor contracts, environmental concerns and international trade relations.

If the administration really means what it says, it will put the best possible people in key roles, protect GM from the pressures inside the Beltway to micromanage its operations and expose it to the pressures of the consumer marketplace and Wall Street.

Obama will have a tough time keeping his "hands-off" commitment when good business decisions come crashing into favorite policy positions. He's already succumbed to some of those pressures: naming an insider as CEO, giving the unions a big ownership role and decreeing what kind of cars GM must build, commercially viable or not.
This will not end well for anyone but those in gov'munt who are able to get an ego boost from power, or a bonus check for trying.

... or maybe they cold be smart and hire smart, well meaning people from such places like ... ohhhh .... I don't know; Cambridge Leadership Associates? What do you think Marty?

Yes, more Harvard Leadership is exactly what this nation needs. After all, they formed such a core of the banking and investment industry in NYC - with that resume filler - they must be the one.

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