Jun 14

The most hated Brit since George III?


June 14
I
wasn't around in 1775 to see what our forefathers said about British King
George III and his 'vexatious' taxes, but I've been front and center to witness
many of the vitriolic epithets being hurled at BP CEO Tony Hayward in the
aftermath of the horrific Gulf oil spill.

In
an interesting twist on this mega-disaster, relations between the U.S. and
Britain
have become strained, to say the least. Americans HATE Hayward and BP while (whilst?) Brits aren't pleased
with the way their home-grown multination petroleum concern or its leader are
being pilloried by Obama, pundits and plebeians alike.

It
seems the Brits are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. One
particularly vociferous John Bull blogger criticized our president for his '…
crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan, political, presidential
petulance against a multination conglomerate.' I love alliteration.

The
mayor of London has also weighed in.

Last,
but not least, Peppercom's very-own London-based Carl 'Union Jack' Foster
uncovered another British blog that posited the following:


the contract was American


the contractors were American


the subcontractors were America


the platform was American


the failed blowout preventer was American


BP is simply the brand name for a corporation which is 40 percent American

Still, don't let a few inconvenient things like the facts get in the way of a
handy bit of xenophobic scapegoating, instead of accepting that the great
American public's continued demand for ever-increasing amounts of cheap
gasoline is entirely to blame. Hmmmm.

Rhetoric
aside, Mr. Hayward has done everything possible to make himself and his
organization look dimwitted, heavy-handed and just plain incompetent (i.e. 'I
want my life back.'). And, BP's inability to fix the problem while constantly
underestimating the volume of crude pouring into the Gulf doesn't help (nor did
Heyward's saying '…The Gulf is a big ocean.').

Still,
being the magnanimous blogger that I am, I can see both sides of the story. So,
to allow both parties to air their grievances, I've decided to devote this
week's little-known and seldom-heard RepChatter podcast to the issue*.
Representing the U.S. side of the discussion will be Peppercom's very own
charter member of the Tea Party movement, the xenophobic Edward M. 'Ted'
Birkhahn. And, arguing for Queen and country will be none other than the aforementioned
Carl Foster (a direct descendent of the Duke of Wellington. Or, maybe it was
Walter Wellington. I'm not sure).

Either
way, I'm psyched for what may well very be the second battle of Lexington and
Concord. Tony Hayward may not be King George III, but that doesn't mean we
can't tar and feather him all the same (especially since we can repurpose some
of his own damn BP oil for the tar). We'll post the podcast as soon as it's
recorded.

*If you'd like to participate in this RepChatter podcast recording on June 18 at 12pm EST, please send an email to lbegley@peppercom.com and you'll receive a dial-in number. 

May 07

The B-school brain drain game

BusinessWeek reports that India’s best and brightest business school students are no longer flocking toBusiness
the Kellogg’s, Wharton’s and Darden’s. Why? Because India’s top b-school’s have at least caught up with, if not surpassed, our creme de la creme. Why should India’s best minds relocate to Philadelphia when they can stay in New Delhi?

To add further insult to injury, America’s top B-school recruiters such as BCG and McKinsey, are shelling out massive bucks to newly-minted Indian MBAs (how does a starting salary of $360k sound to you?).

I’m not surprised Indians are staying home. Having represented quite a few business schools over the years, I’ve always been struck by the internecine warfare and naval-gazing that abounds on our top campuses.

I’ve witnessed faculty turf wars that make Antietam look like a skirmish in comparison. I’ve heard corporate recruiters bemoan the lack of real-world experience, communications and team skills demonstrated by recent US b-school grads. And, I’ve listened to faculty, administrators and management spend hour after hour debating tactical, incremental curricula change.

I’m hoping Duke, UCLA and Tuck don’t emulate Detroit and become the GM, Ford and Chrysler of their industry.

America needs its business schools to remain the very best. It goes far beyond mere image and reputation; this is a global competitiveness crisis that needs to be addressed now.

It’s clearly time for America’s B-school deans to do some cramming and figure out a solution. Otherwise, we’ll all be left behind.