Friday, October 22, 2010

Lawyers Are Not Good Business People

Gulf Business Needs Good Business People – Not Lawyers
I read where small businesses in the gulf region of the United States are having some difficulty receiving compensation from BP. BP has shifted it’s own burden to Kenneth Fienberg a renowned lawyer. No let me say that many of my best friends are lawyers. I work with many more throughout the workday. I am literally surrounded by them. They are the tool makers of many a transaction I create. I like lawyers. But in most cases they are not good business people and they think too much like a lawyer and not enough like a business person. Thus offer a lawyer a job as a manager of a growing enterprise and the vast majority will tell you that is not their gift or the best use of their training. So back to the story. Mr. Fienberg is in the position to make many a business decision. Yes he is a genius but this is not the best use of his experience and training.
What Should BP Do?
Well it is not my style to criticize without providing some sort of a cogent solution. BP should form a series of panels. Those members of the panels should possess the expertise of a specific industry. All applications should then be forwarded to that panel. The panel should employ the standard evaluative tools that are common to assess the success of the enterprise pre-spill and then provide a comparative analysis to the current period of the application. Based on that analysis then a determination should be made as to the extent of impediment to working capital the business has experienced. That impeded amount is then what should be infused into the business. The financial statements should be cross referenced to the bank statements and vendor accounts payable confirmation. In short you have a mini audit. The very maximum you could afford to do considering the time constraints.
Let Business People Do What They Do Best
Let business people evaluate the requests. Do not overburden the process with too much of lawyer doing lawyer stuff. Utilize the experience of people in the know to shorten the fuse. In short let the business people so what they do best. Let the lawyers do what they do best. And let the gulf businesses get back to do what they do best as soon as possible…business!

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