This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tomorrow evening is the second annual "Houston Area Former Andersen Employees Reunion". Last year's event was a great success--lots of people catching up, exchanging business cards, and sharing stories. Looking back, I was surprised that so little of the conversations were about the "end days" or "Enron"... it was mostly about where we had been dispersed to and what we were doing, how we could continue to help each other.
Lots of folks had started their own companies. Or built up new practices within existing companies. Many were working with other former Andersen colleagues.
When the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of the "obstruction of justice" charge against Andersen, it was tempting to think, "well, maybe we can bring it all together again". For many of us, Andersen will be the one of the finest organizations that we'll ever see firsthand. But we can't go back, the world had changed. The business of professional service has changed, we've started new dreams, new endeavors, new directions. Whether Andersen was a constraint or a training ground, a distraction or an ideal to be modeled, it is no more.
Except for brief moments like tomorrow evening. There will be lots of handshakes and hugs, lots of comments that start, "one thing I learned at Andersen was...". And references to "so-and-so if now doing this and that...". The company is no more, but the network lives (in fact, I got a call from a headhunter this week who found me on one of the Andersen Alumni sites).