jack and suzy’s bad week

It is hard to imagine what could keep Jack Welch down for a whole week, but he, and Suzy, list a series of events that conspired to do just that. Not that it was bad for them so much; it was really just a bad week for business on the whole.

The diamond in the rough in this opinion piece, was the term decision shopping. Here it is in its original context:

The second worrisome event occurred in North Carolina on Apr. 29, when Bank of America shareholders, galvanized in part by strong union advocacy, voted CEO Ken Lewis out of his post as chairman. What’s so bad about that, you wonder? Nothing—in terms of shareholder voice. We’re all for that. But ultimately, we don’t support the splitting of the two top executive roles because it can encourage dysfunctional, productivity-sapping “decision shopping,” wherein managers go to the leader who’s most likely to support their initiatives. The split roles also tend to cut into something companies desperately need today: clarity. When there are two bosses, you can often get two messages, and that’s too bad.

When “two top executive roles [are split] it can encourage dysfunctional, productivity-sapping “decision shopping,” wherein managers go to the leader who’s most likely to support their initiatives.”

Normally this seems like one area where the creation of a free-er market for ‘initiatives’, would sound like Jack’s kind of capitalism. But judging from his essay, he strongly believes that this is one place where, regulation should triumph over freedom.

via Specter, Bank of America, Chrysler: A Bad Week for Business – BusinessWeek.

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