I have written before about the damage done as the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Yet again this week we see that over 2000 British financiers received salaries of over 1 million Euros and the head of Berkeley Homes received over 23 million GBP, second only to the boss of marketing services group WPP on 43 million GBP.
This led me to look more deeply into the pay of those at the top, and I discovered that the average wage of the CEOs in the FTSE 100 is over 4 million GBP and even Michael Jackson, who you may have noticed is dead, is still earning over 100 million dollars!
Obviously the latter is a one off anomaly, but the CEO figures are certainly ones that bear investigation so I looked at other surveys. Two very disturbing facts came out when I looked at surveys, not the top FTSE companies but the top performing companies.
Interestingly, there is little or no correlation between salary and performance. Some of the highest paid CEOs are in charge of some of the poorer performing companies and vice versa.
As a byproduct of my research I also discovered that only 29% of the top performing CEOs had an MBA and only half of those came from top-level business schools. Many would suspect that these prestigious business schools would have far more impact on the business world.
This latter fact is far less surprising to me as I have long held the belief that traditional education does a lot to stifle the creativity and entrepreneurship of potential business people.
To many the MBA is a badge to collect and the chance to talk an alien business language that mortals do not understand! In today’s global world I suspect a real foreign language would be far more valuable to them than talk of market segments, paradigm shifts, ROI, right sizing, cash cows, value chains and scalability.
What all of this does say is that companies that want to be successful need to recognise that three letters doesn’t make a star and that money cannot buy you happiness or business success.
Why not start looking for the hungry non-MBAs rather than increasing the growing band of fat cats. Obesity in business, as in any other walk of life, is not a healthy trait.