HIGHTOWER: Training Corporate Warriors
Let's travel again [space music] to the Far, Far, Far-Out Frontiers of Free Enterprise.Today, Spaceship Hightower takes you into the curious world of management training seminars, where corporations spend millions of dollars every year bringing-in consultants to teach company executives how to be "good managers." There are touchie-feelie seminars where group hugs are popular; there are team-building, "survival seminars;" and, there are your ever-popular "war seminars," where budding CEOs are taught military tactics.The current fad in militarizing management, according to Beth Berselli's report in the Washington Post, is to go to the actual sites of war. For $1,000-a-person, plus travel expenses, a [quote] "executive trainer" leads a tour of managers out to some historic war zone, where they are instructed in the management styles of battlefield commanders. They fly to Normandy to learn about the D-Day invasion. They go to Montana to learn the tactics of Sitting Bull and Custer at Little Big Horn -- wait a minute, wasn't Custer a management failure there? Whatever. They also go to Gettysburg, to get management tips from the bloodiest battle in American history.For example, managers are taught at Gettysburg how, despite limited resources, they can still succeed. Consultants walk their corporate charges through the battlefield experience of Union Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose men ran out of ammunition, but were rallied by Chamberlain to mount a successful bayonet charge. The lesson: if you don't have bullets, use knives!How useful that must be for managers today who are downsizing their work force, huh? Indeed, among the job-killing corporations that have sent managers to Gettysburg are MCI, Motorola and Levi Strauss.This is Jim Hightower saying ... To know your future ... look at the history lessons corporations are teaching their managers.