hero

The Spark Blog

An occasional series of thoughts and reflections on the role of narrative in organizational change, branding and knowledge work

what can we learn from what happened to the Vampire Squid?

Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter

As we never really set out to do only one thing at a time, when Douglas Board and Sabine Jaccaud agreed to share thoughts on Steven G. Mandis’ book on Goldman Sachs, we also decided to do so as an Essay in Two Voices. 

Our thinking on the future culture of financial services post-2008 and its new regulatory regimes drew us to Mandis’ work. In his book What Happened to Goldman Sachs, An Insiders Story of Organizational Drift and its Unintended Consequences (HRB, 2014), he touches on many of the key themes around organizational culture that both Sparknow and Douglas build our practices to address.

image

In this Essay in Two Voices, we asked ourselves what we could learn from what happened to Goldman Sachs, otherwise known in certain circles as the Vampire Squid.

So, why an Essay in Two Voices? This method is rooted in Sparknow’s belief in the impact and value of different points of view. In summary, two people address a shared question through a written conversation that takes place in ever diminishing rounds, from 500 words to 140 characters.

There is of course a story behind the method, which fittingly emerged from a conversation. Madelyn Blair’s publication on Essays in Two Voices – Dialogues of Discovery, tells us that story and how driving to Wales with Victoria Ward evolved their thinking on how to write together. And there is a back story to the story, namely when in 1999 Julie Allan and Victoria wrote in two voices to ‘honor each others voice, present both perspectives fully, and allow what came from them to emerge freely’.

Douglas and Sabine offer both a reflection on culture through the lens of Mandis’ work, and a re-visiting of the Essay in Two Voices.

Douglas and Sabine offer both a reflection on culture through the lens of Mandis’ work, and a re-visiting of the Essay in Two Voices.

image Read Douglas’ and Sabine’s Essay in Two Voices

Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *