Management and Employees Shouldn’t Be Enemies

January 08, 2010 0 COMMENTS

The other day a colleague brought a recent New York Times article to my attention. The headline read, “A Once-Defiant U.A.W. Local Now Focuses on G.M.’s Success.” Excuse my naivete, but why wouldn’t the employees of a company always have been focused on the company’s success? Is there ever an excuse for an employee not to make his or her best effort on the company’s behalf in order to help it succeed? Is there ever a reason for employees to knowingly and willingly sabotage the company that they work for and are paid by?

Let me provide more of the story. The U.A.W. local covered by the story was in Lordstown, Ohio. According to the New York Times, “In the 1970s, the factory’s 7,000 workers were so bitter toward management that thousands of Chevrolet Vegas rolled off the assembly line with slit upholstery and other damage . . . and the term ‘Lordstown syndrome’ become shorthand to describe rebellious American factory workers.”

read more…

It’s the Customer, Stupid

November 06, 2009 0 COMMENTS

It’s hard to believe but 2009 is coming to an end. For many, 2009 can’t be over soon enough. For most businesses, it has been a challenging year. And while we’ve seen a rebound in the stock market, most companies are reporting earnings that, while they beat analysts’ estimates, are still significantly less than they were a year ago.

Many companies report their results on a calendar year, which means they’re in the middle or just wrapping up their budgeting process for 2010. So, as you look into your crystal ball, what are you predicting for the year ahead? Do you see an economic recovery?  What about the so-called “jobless recovery”? How will an economic recovery that doesn’t include jobs affect your business? Will things get better in the first quarter or the fourth? When will corporate spending return, since so many companies are beating earnings estimates by cutting costs?

read more…

Careful What You Wish For: GM Management’s Payback to Obama and the UAW?

April 30, 2009 0 COMMENTS

I read Tuesday that General Motors Corporation outlined a new plan that would give the U.S. government a controlling stake in the company. In addition, GM said it would use stock to pay off half of the amount it owes the United Auto Workers (UAW) to cover retiree benefits.

I checked my calendar. It wasn’t April Fools Day. So I’ve reached the conclusion that this is either a sick joke or an incredibly clever plan dreamed up by GM’s management in order to poke back at the Obama administration, which forced out GM’s CEO earlier this year while also getting in a shot at the UAW.

read more…