An anonymous contributor writes:
When I wrote about Esalen five years ago the cost reduction program was supposed to mold the Institute into a hyper-efficient business machine. Yet today Esalen has more layers of management than it had in 2007. These extra layers come at a cost both in dollars and in accountability. Those extra layers insulate Esalen’s top management from responsibility for their decisions. At the highest levels in the Board they think things are going beautifully because they are out of touch with the reality of their own company.
Today at Esalen the workers who try to save the business are the first in line to lose their jobs. Management accountability is gone. The people who mess up get to keep their jobs; and those trying to retain the business lose their jobs.
This is actually an excerpt from an recent article about IBM with only a few words changed. So the particular patterns of Esalen’s downfall are really very typical of today’s businesses-in-decline. The surprising part is that an institution founded on particular values of human awareness would banish those principles at the executive level, effectively blinding itself to its own purpose and sealing its fate. Esalen now emulates the worst of corporate America.