Ep 83 - The Modern Firm: Culture & Incentives with John Roberts PhD

Inquiring minds want to know (Patrick included) what Paul’s predictions are for M&A in 2022, especially in light of the Rentokil / Terminix deal. Place your bets people. No one would have predicted four consecutive private equity deals in a row to kick off Potomac’s year.

Before stepping in with John Roberts PhD, the two discuss the macro market, and even its effects on BrightView’s earnings report.

First recommended to Paul by now Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul, The Modern Firm, earned The Economist’s business book of the year in 2004.

“Nobody, it can now be said, is fully fit to run a modern firm until they have read The Modern Firm” - The Economist

There are various ways to modify performance. Monetary incentives through culture. Not the culture that looks like sticking mission and vision statements on the wall. Take a look at the culture of BP as an example, especially in light of Amoco post-integration. Going deeper on culture, Paul argues that culture stems from the founder’s decisions. The conversation takes a turn into a developing country case study. Now it looks like Patrick has his work cut out for him. When is the last time you spoke about path dependence within a culture?

Paul adds “Strategy” to John’s “People-Architecture-Routines-Culture”, to help him analyze businesses through his S-P-A-R-C spectacles. Are there alternatives to monetary incentives?

Paul invites John to critique his thought process on incentives. Think about your best and worst performers. John gives great insight on pulling up your laggard’s performance. Paul asks about balanced incentives. Join the three in The Boardroom to see if you’re incentivizing for A while hoping for B.

Paul is making the entire interview available to his clients. Shoot an email to thebuzz@potomaccompany.com for access.

“If it’s not S-P-A-R-C, then it’s P-O-L-E….and yes, there is a benchmark for hookers on a P&L…Mom?”

Co-Produced, Edited, and Mixed by Dylan Seals of Verbell.Ltd

Class is in session with Professor Emeritus John Roberts PhD
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