Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

"Is the school even officially open today?"

I bumped into one of the profs I used to work for on my way in this morning.  He said, "The gym might not be open today."  I was like, "If that's true, I could have slept in an extra hour.  Grr!"  But it was indeed open.  Woot!

I did 45min @ 4.0mph and 1.0incline, dropping from a jog to a stride every ten minutes or so for a few seconds.

I bumped into Kate (one of the new RAs -- not to be confused with Katie) on my way to Spangler.  She commented on the lanterns and I was like, "What?" and then I looked around.  Way to decorate, HBS.  They look nice -- all seasonal and everything; pumpkin and squash and stuff at the base of these nice curved lantern holders, with thick white candles in them.  I hope they stick around.  (When I left work at the end of the day today, they looked to be already taking down the big tent -- since the Centennial weekend extravaganza was over.)


Econ class tonight we had a quiz.  Everyone was sitting (or standing) out in the hallway before class.  I felt like I was back in college.

I'm an auditor, so I sat in the back of the room and blew threw about half of Ahead of the Curve.

Then we watched a one hour video -- Surviving the Bottom Line (Chapter 1: "Running With the Bulls"). 

It opens with a segment on the Chase Chemical merger and how it's hard to make Michael Price look like David (as in David and Goliath).  In one segment, an interviewer says, "We're looking at David vs. Goliath.  But who wins... David" -- in this surprised tone.  A guy off-camera says, "Well he won last time, too."

An interviewer's telling Price about a woman for whom Chase was like a family and who lost her job after the merger.  Price pauses for like a moment and says, "What happened to her stock options?"

The next segment is on Al Dunlap, and as soon as they said his name I thought, "Hey, we teach that case" -- though I haven't actually read it.
He talks about how he admires predator -- a predator has to get its own lunch, can't get room service.  I was like, "Um, I think you are solidly in the Get Room Service category, mister."
I actually have a lot of sympathy for the idea of laying off 30% of the workers so that they company won't fail and the remaining 70% will still be employed, but Dunlap's habit of going in and taking over companies and then selling them (at a massive profit to himself) makes me skeptical and uncomfortable.
A guy from Scott Paper said that Dunlap did way more than just cut fat, that soon Scott was barely hanging on month to month and then Dunlap's like, "How about you get acquired by Kimberly-Clark."
A Notre Dame prof said Dunlap was eating the seed corn of the companies.
And someone suggested (not necessarily in the Dunlap context specifically) that a focus on the day to day stock price is inefficient -- certainly there's a problem of short-term vs. long-term.

We talk so much about creating value and stuff, that seeing people so single-mindedly fixated on increasing the stock value made me really sad.

They next segment was on Valujet, and almost immediately I was thinking of Southwest in Michal Porter's "What Is Strategy?" article.
Tags: gymming it up, harvard: ext.: course: intro econ, hbs

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