When Did MBA’s Take Over the World?
I just read a great book review. So good that it made me run right out and buy the book. Of course, today, running right out to buy the book means opening the Kindle App on my iPad and downloading it, but I still got it.
It is a book by Bob Lutz on how MBA’s hijacked American industry. I haven’t read it but it sounds great and I plan to start on it when I finish this. Bob is an icon in the American car industry. He has made it almost to the top of quite a few car companies. Ford, BMW, GM and Chrysler. For car people his is a rock star. And, for people that are fans of actually making stuff.
His premise, which I agree with, is that the demise of the domestic car industry started when engineers quit running the companies and the finance people took over, which is a broader problem with our economy. When we are driven by what will our numbers look like tomorrow instead of what will our business look like in the future, we are all in trouble. And, we are all in trouble because that is exactly the way business has been run for almost my entire adult life.
When the MBA’s took over, we quit worrying about building things and making things better and focused on “value.” But, look at the real winners in today’s world. In both value and product. Apple. The undeniable best consumer products company ever. The only time they lost their way was when the MBA’s forced Jobs out of the executive office. Netflix. Chipotle. Caterpillar. I could go on but the point is the winners in today’s economy actually do something. Not think about it.
The only way to have meaningful growth is to invent or improvement to your product. And, not in the way Wall Street thinks of value and improvement. Actually do something and do it better. Not do something, strip it of cash and dump it on the next person.
I am on thin ice because I am a finance educated MBA. I am part of the problem and part of the problem generation. But, there is a reason I have always spent more time in operations than finance. There is a reason I focus more on bakery economics than those of the home office. There is a reason that when I decided to get out of the MBA world, I started by getting up at 4 AM to make stuff for people to eat. I don’t do that any more but that is more who Great Harvest is than the MBA world.
What can we do to keep getting better for you?