6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

January 26, 2007 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Nepotism in the real world 

Have you ever played the game 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon? 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon )

The premise of the game is based on the idea that “it’s a small world” and everyone is interconnected.  Everyone in Hollywood has worked directly with or with someone who has worked with Kevin Bacon.  
This game works well in the Entertainment industry because productions last a few months and the industry is highly visible, relatively small and incredibly incestuous. 

Finding the links back to Kevin Bacon can be a brain-teaser and a lot of fun at parties, however this concept, applied to business relationships, could provide the greatest insight for sourcing, compliance, risk management, and corporate governance professionals.

We heard from a director of Materials Management at a large regional hospital who claimed that the head of OR’s son was the sales representative of one of the medical device vendors.  Not only was the son guaranteed the hospital’s business because of his father’s position at the hospital, but it was later discovered that the hospital was paying more than double fair market value for the privilege of doing business with the surgeon’s son. 

Web companies such as LinkdIn, Jigsaw, and Plaxo have attempted to make contact databases relevant and relational.  These tools have been used mostly by sales professionals for networking purposes and maintaining contact databases.  I believe the value at this level is novel and helpful for prospecting, but more experience based, relationship information is needed for these tools to be game changers and appeal to a  more diverse/broader group of users.

You can just imagine how much unaccounted over spending, fraud and abuse of programs like the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, the United Nations Oil for Food Program, rebuilding of Iraq, etc… were a result of corporate nepotism and political favoritism. 

Lexis Nexis (http://www.corporateaffiliations.com/) has had a product that tracks corporate affiliations for some time.  This product provides visibility into the big, publicly held business affilitations with subsidiaries but has limited breadth and depth of information on the other 21 million US businesses and their owner/operators .  In addition, the mechanism is insufficient for delivering the information to the proper stake holders.  More reports are not the answer for delivering greater transparency into business relationships.  

-Andy Monin

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Talk about a real pain in the rear… IS THIS REAL OR MEMOREX?

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