Goldman Sachs announced today changes to its Associate program with the goal of retaining more of these junior hires. A senior official was quoted a saying that they do realize that they train these guys up for others to hire , but they still want to keep some percentage of these employees. Charles Handy would love that statement.
Handy was a British organizational theorist who is second behind Peter Drucker on the Thinkers 50 List of most influential business minds, yet few Americans have heard of him. A former Shell executive turned University professor, he started writing about organizations in the mid 1970’s.
It was his book, The Age of Unreason, written in 1987, that totally supported the M Squared business model, but also foretold not only the current gig economy, but also the travails of Goldman Sachs and its Associates program. In that book, he describes the organization as a shamrock, with one leaf being core employees, another being temporary workers, whose ranks would expand and contract, and another being on call expertise. In describing these three pools of talent, he suggested that large organizations, like Goldman Sachs, would become like the British army; unskilled, raw talent would enter and be trained by the enterprise. Some would be promoted through the organization to the senior ranks, but in the grand scheme of things,most would leave after some short level of obligatory service – service which made the individual far more marketable in the labor force.
So thank you, Goldman, for doing your part in enhancing the skill base of entry level employees, or more precisely, creating the Wall Street army.