Q: How is Circuit City like the City of Richmond government?Compare_2

A: They both share a very unfortunate self-destructive behavior — rewarding poor management with large raises and retention bonuses. 

Now…that’s not entirely fair.  The behavior isn’t self-destructive so much as it is harmful for the people that have entrusted these folks with their livelihoods and well-being.

I was flabbergasted back at the end of 2007 when I read the news that the executives at Circuit City were being rewarded with retention bonuses after a series of very, very bad decisions that had been handed down over the previous few months.  If it were my company, I would have been much more likely to pay those same executives extra to walk away and stop causing so much harm to the reputation and morale of the company.  I wouldn’t have asked them to stay, and I certainly wouldn’t set up incentives to keep them in place.

I’ve always thought that the public sector could learn a lesson or two from the private sector, but if I knew this was the lesson they were going to learn then I never would have wished for it.  After all of the debacles that the city has been through at the hands of the current executive leadership, why would anyone think that these same officials deserve a raise —  much less raises of 13-20%?!  (Read the entire article from yesterday’s RTD by clicking here.  There are a lot of details that add to the shamefulness of the situation.)

I guess the City of Richmond has Circuit City to thank for blazing the way in rewarding ineptitude.