Friday, January 11, 2013

Hageman on the Republican Party

Note: The video below is somehat dated. But in any necessary reform, it helps to take a look back before taking a leap forward.

At the end of the presentation below, State Senator Joe Markley steps forward to recommend Doug Hagemen as Chairman of the State Republican Party, and he credits Mr. Hagemen for having cajoled and pushed and pulled him into state politics.

I would add my commendation to his. Mr Hageman's remarks show the French were right when they said -- it sounds better in French -- "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

The easy thing about having a conversation with Mr. Hagemen is that you don’t have to say a word; just turn the tap and watch the water flow. But what water -- politically fresh, ever burbling, cool in the throat. And when you’ve finished your draft, you feel somehow that you’ve swallowed the whole damn flowering Spring.

Though a suburb salesman, Mr. Hageman I doubt ever worked for Nordstrom, which is too bad, because there he would have felt right at home. Business operatives across the county used to come to store and ask top management what their great secret was, with a view to copying it, returning to their more placid businesses and applying the magic, awakening a burst of energy that would renew their own listless enterprises.

The same thing would happen all the time. They would be given a card showing an inverted triangle, its point stuck improbably into the ground, its massive base hovering overheard. And the business executive from, say, Widgets Inc. would be told something like this: This inverted triangle represents our business model. The point, significantly at the bottom, is the president of Nordstrom. Above him are the top managers of the company. Above the top managers, we have the individual stores and their presidents and management teams. Above them, we have all the individual departments -- which are run more or less like independent boutiques -- and their managers. Above these managers, we have the individual sales persons.

The Widget Inc. president would listen politely -- wondering at this operational madness that puts a salesman at the top of the business edifice, the president of the company occupying the very bottom rung – and leave with the little inverted triangle dangling from his fingers.

And the operational scheme really was an operative scheme; that is the way things worked. Ideas came percolating up from the bottom – and the best them were implemented, their originators rewarded for having improved the business operations. Above the top base of the triangle, it was understood by everyone from the heights of the sales floor to the depths of top management, were the clients of the store – the real bosses.

Mr. Hageman’s idea for rejuvenating the slumberous Republican Party in Connecticut involves triangular inversion.

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