Topics from Martini

posted Apr 18, 2009, 9:24 AM by Jason Karp   [ updated Apr 18, 2009, 9:31 AM ]
Can we learn from GS on building sustainable organizations?
1)  For fear of alienating the non-finance (aka non-geeks) in the junto I wanted to run something by you.  I am about 60% done with The Partnership which is about goldman sachs… now I could frankly care less about goldman’s profits/valuation, what they do etc.  However I personally believe that gs has built something truly unique over the years and I wanted to throw out a topic of the study of GS’s culture/history/success.


Long before six sigma at GE got HBS reviews and McKinsey accolades, gs was doing the same thing except they didn’t call it “six sigma.”  I just wanted to mention this to you as an idea… I thought that b/t all of us we could get some former GS partners (I could probably get Lee Cooperman to come) to discuss what they thought worked at goldman to create “the firm.”


My personal view again is that they created something special by effectively managing egos, managing comp, creating very effective support networks, hiring incredibly selectively with large emphasis on “culture,” etc.


This is just a suggestion and what I wanted to know was if you think the non-finance people (who hopefully will grow in number) will get anything out of this.  I’d hope the emphasis would be on building an organization with reliable incentives, etc. NOT on gs earnings power and the like but I wanted your thoughts…
Consuming less or Malthus? 
2) We have gone from 2.4 children to 1.6 children per female in 30 yrs... We'll need less of everything each incremental cycle. How do we reconcile this with the population growth in emerging countries, and how do we balance consuming less of everything vs. the Malthusian view.