Is UNITY a Profitable Corporate Initiative?





A perfect example of America’s love / hate relationship with success played out on the national stage not long ago. While many financial institutions are still struggling, even after spending large tax-payer funded bail out checks, Goldman Sachs turned a $5.2 Billion profit during the first half of 2009. That was 5.2 Billion – with a “B”.



Instead of applauding their ability to rebound spectacularly from financial crisis, this organization was called “an assemblage of swine”, and “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” by various media personalities. While none of us can deny the creativity of these insults, and Goldman Sachs REMAINS a controversial company, I was curious. WHY would Goldman Sachs be doing so much better than any other bank? At the risk of sounding like an anchorman heading to commercial break, I have to ask: WHAT is in the water at Goldman Sachs?

The answer was not surprising. A little bit of digging led me to this conclusion: UNITY. UNITY is the ingredient that led this financial institution to outperform ALL of its peers. Let me explain.

Charles Ellis published a “history” of the firm last year called The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs. In it, he detailed the firm’s slow recovery after the stock market crash of 1929. Facing extinction, Ellis concluded, the people over at Goldman Sachs had no choice but to stick together and work towards the future.

This successful management approach of “extreme UNITY” led Ellis to explain cause of the firm’s success in this way: Goldman “recruits the most extraordinarily talented people” and thing “brings these talented leaders together in by far the most team-oriented environment” on Wall Street.


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