Corporate Culture and Information Flow
The Hierarchical Model vs. Hub-and-Spoke
March 9, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 19
IN THE NEWS
Bush in a bubble: Is he cut off from political reality?
From Iraq to Katrina to the ports flap, many observers view him as insular.
We have seen this phenomenon before--a cloistered president, fixed in his views and averse to compromise, often at odds with political reality. Democrat Woodrow Wilson was protected by a first lady who froze out even his closest aides. Democrat Lyndon Johnson raged against his domestic critics, calling them "communists" and "Harvards," and he wound up speaking only at military bases. Republican Richard Nixon was so deep in the bunker during Watergate that his own defense secretary instructed subordinates not to carry out military orders issued by the White House.
—Dick Polman, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 27, 2006
Running a large corporation is hugely complex, made more so by Sarbanes-Oxley which forces the CEO and CFO to personally guarantee the truth of the company's financial statements. Suddenly the top person, who may have come up through the ranks from marketing, sales or research, must become a world-class expert in corporate finance or face jail time.
Running the United States Government—the largest organization in the world with the world's biggest budget—is the most complicated job in the world.
How information reaches the American president and how he makes sure those who work for him carry out his policies, are object lessons for everyone in business.
Too much news and he can be paralyzed by information overload; too little information and he is flying blind in foul weather without radar and air traffic controllers.
How President Bush Gets News
From Brit Hume's Fox News interview with President Bush, Sept. 23, 2003:
HUME: How do you get your news?
BUSH: I get briefed by Andy Card and Condi in the morning ... I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves. But like Condoleezza, in her case, the national security adviser is getting her news directly from the participants on the world stage.
- Alden Hatch
- Andy Card
- Blackshear M. Bryan
- Bob Paolino
- Camp David
- Charles P. Pizzi
- Debacle John F. Kennedy
- Eisenhower Dwight D. Eisenhower
- George Tenent
- J. Lo
- James C. Hagerty
- Jim Hagerty
- Lyndon Johnson
- Mary Jane McCaffrey
- Michael Brown
- Richard M. Nixon
- Sherman Adams
- THE NEWS Bush
- Woodrow Wilson