chairman and chief executive officer of The Chase
Manhattan Bank, Mr. Rockefeller
global expansion that earned Chase the distinction
as one of the world's most well known and socially
responsible financial institutions. At the same time,
Mr. Rockefeller served as “Ambassador
Without Portfolio” for American Presidents since
Dwight Eisenhower, crisscrossing the globe countless
times to meet with hundreds of heads of state.
my 35-year career at The Chase Manhattan Bank, I
was often exposed
to ways by which the bank’s
performance could be improved and its profitability
Bankers, by the very nature of their work, come
across a vast array of business practices, both
good and bad, and are in a unique position to assess
how competitors in the same economic sector run
their operations. The rigorous analysis of balance
sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow and
other economic data, was, and is, the basis upon
which credit is assessed and loans extended.
But, underneath the hard
financial data are the practices -- some call
it the “corporate culture” --
that separate the truly excellent companies from
those that are simply good. These practices, which
run the gamut from flexible work hours to corporate
art programs to on-site day care centers, are an
invisible and intangible part of the bottom line,
but they are there nevertheless. The really successful
companies – GE, Microsoft, Intel – are
well known for such innovative methods.
What I did not do as often as I should have as
a bank CEO was to take the innovative ideas that
I had observed around the world and introduce them
at Chase. It would have made an immense difference.
But, then, I did not have IdeaWise for a guide.
You, fortunately, don’t
have the same excuse.
Steve Rivkin and Fraser Seitel have provided an
invaluable resource for business executives and
entrepreneurs, as well as leaders in government
and the not-for-profit sector.
Humorous, insightful and provocative are only a
few of the words that come to mind to describe this
superb book. It should be essential reading for
anyone concerned about keeping his or her business
or organization productive, expanding and dynamic.