What Can The Government Learn From Corporate HR & Communications?


CNN reports that one day after President Bush said the nation’s economy is at grave risk, the high-stakes negotiations over the proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial system ended in chaos on Thursday. Lawmakers split over bailout – Sep. 25, 2008.

If there’s one word that makes me a little jumpy when it comes to my government and my money, it’s chaos.

Here’s my Punk Rock HR advice for anyone trying to deal with a crisis at work, in your family, or in the government:

  • If you have five people who think they are accountable for making a decision, four of those people are wrong.

It’s pretty simple: the buck stops with the highest elected official in America. Bush can begin to control the chaos by pulling out some of his old Harvard MBA textbooks and implementing a Business 101 crisis management strategy.

  1. Bush needs to identify himself as accountable for solving this mess and move quickly to tighten the circle around him. When you’re trying to make a critical decision at work or in your family, you dilute your credibility when you outsource your accountability and authority to other people.
  2. Bush should find the best freakin’ communications guru in America and call upon this person to serve America at a time of national crisis. Bush needs very basic tools to implement a quick and simple communications strategy — the kind that’s taught in most business schools. This person would know how to deal with politicians and media pundits who are trying to interject themselves in the decision-making process. This communications guru could coordinate and dispatch the right kinds of surrogates to manage those egomaniacs in Washington who feel the need to be consulted and informed. Furthermore, if the proposed $700b economic bailout is the right strategy, this communications guru will help Bush find a way to better communicate the benefit to the American economy. That address to the nation, the other night? It was an embarrassment, folks.

I encourage Bush to seek dissenting points of view (for the first time in his presidency) and better understand the needs of Americans in the heartland; however, our President must exercise a little common sense and remove the biggest distractions from the room. First ones to be cast out of Washington DC are the presidential candidates. Next up? Freshmen congressmen with crazy agendas and a strong desire to be reelected in November.

What am I missing folks? This is not rocket science, and there is no need for chaos and alpha-male douchebaggery. It’s unacceptable.

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