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Investment Banks and HR part 2 – Talk Like a Pirate Day Edition

Posted by Mark Bennett on September 19, 2008


“And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules.”

“And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules."

Let’s follow up on the previous post about Peter Cappelli’s column on the impact of poor management on the current credit crisis. (The accompanying photo is in honor of “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”)

In his column, Cappelli notes that Goldman Sachs is an exception to the pattern of management behavior exhibited by many other Wall Street firms. Instead, Goldman Sachs is:
“…known for paying the most attention to teamwork, for maintaining a healthy organizational culture based on positive values and, more generally, for taking the management of people seriously.”
Interestingly, there is an HBR article this month that also talks about Goldman Sachs having done well compared to the competition by following these HR-related principles:
  • Focus on core competencies by hiring quantitative professionals.
  • Attention to governance through strong oversight.
  • Aligned, longer-term incentives through employee ownership.
  • Clearly understood and communicated values that carry real consequences.
As the article points out, some companies might have one or more of these, but Goldman Sachs effectvely employs all four.

One Response to “Investment Banks and HR part 2 – Talk Like a Pirate Day Edition”

  1. Good insight Mark.

    Clearly, poor risk management and short-sight of financial institutions are the root-causes of the current abysmal. I think moving forward HR organizations have bigger role to play in proactively identifying and mitigating serious risks threatening corporate performance – systematic HR audit can be a good starting point.

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