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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • April 20, 2010
  • minute read

Goldman Sachs: The Big Rut Host for a Lethal Fun Virus? 

An interesting thing is becoming clear in the aftermath of the recent financial meltdown: while we already know that many of the organizations most intimately involved were in The Big Rut (GM, Fannie and Freddie as examples) it looks ever more the case that just about all the major players are in there with them – but with a devastating twist.

Goldman Sachs is the most obvious example (but as you’ll see the principle is widely applied). The longer time goes on, the more obvious it is that Goldman Sachs personifies the key characteristic of being in The Big Rut – it has lost the ability to self-diagnose.

Put another way: no matter what happens, what is said about it, what legislation is attempted, what opprobrium is heaped upon it, Goldman just keeps right on, more or less unvaried in its goals or approach.

Same goes for most of the other large financial organizations involved in this nightmare.

But hold on…

how can an organization in The Big Rut – which is the least innovative, least risk-taking, least active stage in any organization’s development – inflict such mortal damage in such highly risky ways?

The answer is simple (though it took a while for me to see it): Highly risk-inclined individuals are using the benign environment of large financial organizations to seed (and protect) their own ‘Fun‘ operation.

Like a virus infecting a host, all the downside of their activities show up as organizational failures, while the lumbering, numb, unaware nature of their host’s Big Rut mentality (and it’s massive balance sheet) provides the perfect environment in which to experiment without personal consequence.

The good news is that from what we know about The Big Rut, those organizations will inevitably enter Death Rattle and die – it’s only a matter of time.

The bad news is that by then, the parasites will be somewhere else.

My bet is that they’ll migrate to large financial organizations in Treadmill and start from there…


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