Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An old boys club full of women and children

I think the Fairfax leadership just answered something that I asked last year.

"Why we insist on bringing these whiz-kids to Australia to manage our icon businesses is just beyond me"?

It might be that said *whiz-kids* are not often up to scratch - but clearly the local talent pool is even worse - judging by the performance of some of our corporations.

Many of us have long suspected that the closed shop of the "Australian old boys club" is really just a screen to shield dumb decisions, bad behaviour and poor performance.

The old boys club is built around which school they attended and what fancy pattern adorns their dark blue tie - all with a little bit of Latin thrown in for effect.  Nothing to do with intellect or capability or performance.  It's just assumed they know what they are doing when they inherit their fathers' seat at the club .  When in fact mostly they don't know dick.  I bet the wives do though ;-)

And they have gotten away with it for about 200 years because the regulators are as lame and as weak as they were back in 1788.  In the grand tradition that has allowed our monopolies to flourish - we throw in a few regulators as window dressing - all to give the appearance that we are doing something to control corporate excess.  When in fact what we usually have is a nod and a wink and a funny handshake between all the old boys.

What we really need is to open up the club and insert a few women and young people - preferably in the same ratio as they exist in our society.

As if that would ever happen.

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