Even Harvard Business School Professors Get It Wrong
by Stan Faryna
Two Harvard Business School professors have co-authored a book about business leadership: Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business. The book is published by the prestigious Harvard Business Press. I have not read this book. I watched the Harvard Business Review interview with the co-authors here. I watched the video because a friend sent me the link and thought it might be interesting to me.
Assuming that the Harvard Business Publishing marketing department isn’t an amateur at marketing their own books, the interview gets to the heart of the book and focuses most on what they think is key to this book’s insights and recommendations. In this case, the heart is two sizes too small and it reeks to hell of bias, shillery, and propaganda.
Business can figure it out, say the co-authors. Business can lead social and economic change, solve disparities, injustice, and corruption AND overcome the obstacles that oppose or restrain the course of human Freedom. If it can do all that, capitalism is not at high risk.
Who are we trying to kid?
The crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history with wide and dark consequences: 30+ million people were unemployed globally within six months and unemployment continues to grow three years later and foreseeably into the future. Millions were unable to pay their mortgages and lost their homes. Three years later, tens of millions more are about to lose their homes. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Oh – did I mention it was “business” leaders that created a global economic meltdown that is more toxic than the unstoppable and toxic product of the Fukashima meltdown.
In my comment on HBR, I observe that the general public perception of business leaders does not reflect any kind of confidence in business leaders. As a group, today’s top business leaders neither demonstrate solidarity in magnificence, servant leadership, nor any collaborative capacity to realize great change.
20,000+ children die every day. Twenty thousand children. Every day! TWENTY THOUSAND!
Is there anything more important than stopping that tragedy, yesterday? A round of golf- perhaps?
As my friend Dr. Jack King often reminds me: true leaders are ‘one with’ the people, like the soaring eagle is one with the wind!
Are business leaders one with the world?
The world, we all believe, is FUBAR – in part – because of a certain lack of virtues, moral character, and vision of the same business leaders that the co-authors now argue… are the people who can save the world.
Virtues are not celebrated in the boardroom. Nor in the stock exchange. A CEO’s bonuses are not based on tough decisions that produce socially relevant outcomes. Corporate citizenship is a buzz word, but when do companies and investors sacrifice profit and organization for the cause of Freedom, the welfare of a nation, or human hope?
HP once enjoyed the honor of being considered one of the best companies to work for in the United States. But come on down to Bucharest and see how HP exploits human beings. Let’s start with reviewing the average monthly salary that doesn’t cover an employee’s monthly rent, utilities, and food. Unpaid overtime and lots of overtime. Etcetera.
The fact is that HP’s C-suite and a few representative investors should be prosecuted and tried by an international court for crimes against humanity. Something like the Nuremberg Trials. Sorry Meg Whitman. Let’s chalk it up to bad timing for you.
Let’s find a dozen C-Suites and assorted major investors from the biggest companies to bring to trial. All of this must be done to set an example and scare the shit out of all the other so-called business leaders.
If so-called business leaders would take the initiative to set up the court and trial to clean their own mad house of evil, that would do much to establish their good, moral will and capacity to save the world. But I’m not holding my breath. Are you? Dutch Leonard? Lynn Paine?
If Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine represent the kind of false consciousness and lack of critical thinking skills that forms business thinking, business education, and corporate leadership training, we’re all in trouble.
Is Harvard credible? Relevant? In the last 20 years? Does Harvard, Standford, and Sloane teach that it is the people that empower leadership – not the other way around?
Of course, the problem isn’t just Harvard. Or is it?
Mark Zuckerberg is from Harvard. And he is selling information about you down to your dirty socks.
Did I forget to mention how Russian oil companies are disposing of Russia’s vast storehouse of expired chemical weapons via cheap gasoline now being burned in cars everywhere? The rumor is that it was a HBS grad that came up with the idea.
The contamination of Russian gasoline products, unfortunately, is not a rumor. The byproduct of burning expired chemical weapons is an inconvenient health threat to the world population. Keep in mind that it’s just a rumor about the HBS grad having the morally bankrupt idea.
27 September 2011
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