Thursday, March 15, 2012

Money vs. Culture

New York Times
I am a Greg Smith, late of Goldman Sachs, fan.  Bloomberg gave their counter argument today 
"Apparently, when Greg Smith arrived at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) almost 12 years ago, the legendary investment firm was something like the Make-A-Wish Foundation -- existing only to bring light and peace and happiness to the world."
Sure, everyone needs to make money.  But I think there were two important points Smith was trying to get across:


1. To make money you must have happy customers who keep coming back.  This is a cultural choice that companies make.  I wrote a blog a while back when IBM turned 100.  The killer quote was:
"I believe that if an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself, except its beliefs." - Thomas Watson, Jr.
His point to the Goldman Board was that the culture needed to be redirected back to the basics that had made them successful for 143 years.

2.  He personally was not comfortable with the culture.  Good for him in choosing to leave.

2 comments:

Jordan Desilets said...

I think this goes back to the basics of when we are seeking a job ourselves. If we just go for the highest paying job out there that we are capable of getting you may find yourself very un happy at your job and in your home life Vs. if you look to something you can get passionate about. The Big Firm needed to keep customers happy and we as individuals look to keep family happy.

Thanks Bob for creating a company where we can have both...passion and profit. My family thanks you as well.

Jack said...

Like :)

Some "experts" say it takes 10 years to change a company culture. I say "bull&^it". I've seen a poor leader poison a culture within 6 months and a superior leader turnaround a culture of a big company in a year.