In an article for Fortune recounting his time leading the auto task force, Steve Rattner drops this nugget about the (mis)management of General Motors:
At GM’s Renaissance Center headquarters, the top brass were sequestered on the uppermost floor, behind locked and guarded glass doors. Executives housed on that floor had elevator cards that allowed them to descend to their private garage without stopping at any of the intervening floors (no mixing with the drones).
Contrast this with the milieu at Bloomberg LP:
The central fact about Bloomberg’s new headquarters in midtown Manhattan is that it is nonhierarchical, having no private offices; all employees, from the brass on down, sit in long rows of terminal-laden desks.
When … [Michael] Bloomberg took office back in 2002, he ripped out City Hall’s traditional “office” setup and went about constructing a “bullpen” with a series of office cubicles, where he set up shop square in the middle.
The boss … placed himself in the center cubicle right next to new hires and middle rung employees of the country’s biggest city?
You bet he did …
“Walls are barriers, and my job is to remove them,” the billionaire businessman told the New York Times at the time …
The cubicles idea, Bloomberg has said, is to create an atmosphere of openness with the boss out front without anything hidden.