Monday, June 29, 2009

Of awards and encomiums

Trying to work out which banks are the world's best is a bit like awarding the prize for the prettiest war-torn village. It is a title that carries little kudos. It is also likey to prompt further shelling. Winners of industry awards in the past three years include Ken Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America for banker of the year (2008); Societe Generale for its risk management; and Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide, a failed mortage lender, for a "life-time of achievement"
- The Economist (May 23)

I am reminded of a terrific quote from Martin Wolf, FT''s economic pundit, "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first put on the covers of business magazines".

But why blame business chambers and the media alone for idolising the wrong guys? Remember the best-selling book by McKinsey gurus, Peters and Waterman, In search of Excellence, that identified companies that had got it all right? Within a few years of the book's coming out, many of the famous names in the book that had been held up as role models were in trouble.

Alan Greenspan was hailed as the ultimate central banker and was the subject of more than one gushing biography. Today, he's among those held primarily responsible for the global crisis.

Moral: Be careful whom you lavish praise on, be it a company or an individual.


Rajesh V said...

I happen to be reading the book mentioned and the book contains a very interesting line which says that though the companies might falter sooner or later, but they are models because of the fact that they were able to continue for that long!! Now, how they did continue for that long is altogether a different matter .

Anonymous said...



Viagra, Cialis

Anonymous said...

missouri auto insurance hi fabulous little web-site ya have here :-) I apply the very same theme on my website yet somehow for whatever nutty factor it appears to stream easier on yours despite the fact that yours contains a little more material. Have you been getting some plugins or widgets which speed it up? Do you think you could share the titles so I might use them in my personal blog so twilight eclipse followers could watch twilight eclipse online trailers and clips quicker I’d be thankful – kudos in advance Jason , texas auto insurance