Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Jack Welch MBA

Apparently Jack Welch of GE fame is joining up with some entity to create an online MBA. As the Economist points out - teaching Welch's management style could lead to some interesting classes...

for example, on exec pay..

One extremely popular class would be “Maximising Your CEO Pay”. This columnist once heard Mr Welch tell a chief executives’ boot-camp that the key was to have the compensation committee chaired by someone older and richer than you, who would not be threatened by the idea of your getting rich too. Under no circumstances, he said (the very thought clearly evoking feelings of disgust), should the committee be chaired by “anyone from the public sector or a professor”

and the accounting class should be awesome...

Equally unmissable would be the class on “Making Your Numbers”. Under Mr Welch, GE’s accounting was so creative it could be hung on the wall of the Museum of Modern Art (although it was all within legal bounds). Frequent use was made of off-balance-sheet vehicles, on a greater scale even than Enron. The firm’s huge, opaque financial arm, GE Capital, was used as a top-up fund in case profits in the rest of the business fell below the consistent growth promised by Mr Welch. Over the 80 or so quarters he was in charge, GE’s profits grew so consistently they were almost a straight line. Those were the days.

Jack's partner in this enterprise is a guy by the name of Mike Clifford who, to quote the Wall Street Journal...
previously worked in broadcasting and telecommunications, and with evangelical Christian leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Bill Bright.

Sounds like a winner to me.