Monday, April 17, 2006
A family business prospers through a productive series of brutal consolidations and rational growth. Then the rise of an executive class that pits one egotistical senior manager against another in senseless internal conflicts eventually leads to a long line of demented CEOs, excessive expansion, and foolish diversification?and a high cost in shattered lives. In the end, a series of reverse takeovers leave the once-proud but now overextended and corrupt parent company at the mercy of the mom-and-pop operations that previously cringed at the grandeur of the corporate brand.
Enron? WorldCom? Try Rome, whose rise and fall carry a moral that lingers to this day for the managers, employees, and students of any global enterprise. Stanley Bing?whose satirical business books are as savagely funny as they are insightful?mingles business parable and cautionary tale into an ingenious, often hilarious new telling of the story of the Roman Empire.