Monday, May 11, 2009


Today's Wall Street Journal reports search firm Spencer Stuart has been engaged to hunt up new board members. GM is now owned by three entities two of which are in a category of nonprofit organizations: the US government and the UAW. As we say in New York I "know from" nonprofits and I know about governance as well.

By losing staggering amounts of money and being nonprofitable for several quarters one might propose that GM is a nonprofit though it didn't plan to be. GM resembles all too many nonprofits in three important ways:
  • It now states its budget in terms of its deficit.
  • Its board fits the dictionary definition:" ... a board is a long thin wooden object."
  • Management has been inept.
So Spencer Stuart why not me? I'm a turnaround kind of guy.

I know nothing about cars north of the steering column. But: as an adjunct faculty member at the Milano management unit of New School University we and the part-timers at NYU were unionized by the UAW a couple of years ago. But Ron Gettelfinger I won't be in your pocket.

And I pay taxes; that makes me an owner!

Finally there is really nothing inherently different about the roles and responsibility of a business board of directors vs. a charity board of trustees.
  • Stewardship of assets.
  • Oversight of management.
  • Accountability.
  • Transparency.
  • Commitment to stakeholders.
I promise to give up my Toyota Rav 4 which I love and which Consumer Reports lists among the top five cars sold in the US. But not until GM turns out a car that's better or at least equal.

Also I promise to fly coach and use my own miles to upgrade to business.

So give me a call. I'd be happy to come in for an interview. Do I have to wear a tie?

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