LO & Big Layoffs LO5337

Julie Beedon (julie@vistabee.win-uk.net)
Sun, 04 Feb 1996 18:05:17

Replying to LO5306 --

>In, I believe, LO5165, I commented that it was paradoxical to expect
>employees to be creative and committed for a company that is not committed
>to the employee's long-term well-being, ie most likely, employment.

Snipping somewhat here and there ... I was quite interested in this .. the
whole question of loyalty is beginning to nag at the back of my head

- on the one hand I recall the Deming points about the chain reaction he
drew on all the blackboards in Japan ... ie that quality ultimately
creates more jobs... and I know of people like Rover Cars who struck their
'new deal' with the unions which has meant no lay-offs etc... It seems to
me that the only result of down-sizing is smaller organisations .... the
opposite of the Deming chain reaction....

- and yet on the other hand I remember being really taken with Peter
Block's stuff about the psychological contract and the way in which this
led to myopic self-interest.... which might mean that loyalty as a reward
for employees is just another form of extrinsic motivator??? and to what
extent was the old loyalty deal tied up with patriachcal dependency models
of thinking??

So now I have a dilemna - is loyalty a good thing or not?? How do we
create an environment where enlightened self-interest thrives.... can we
do this in organisations which are 'downsizing' ... of course downsizing
could come from external factors like the decline of an industry... but I
think Deming might say that this needn't happen if all stakeholders are
being focusing creatively on the real purpose of the organisation (I
always remember the stuff about people not looking for better carbon paper
but better copies!!)

Then it raises much bigger questions which speak to the essence of what I
believe I am doing.... Should people commit to an organisation because it
feeds them or because they think what they are doing is worth doing?? Is
the notion of common purpose a 'middle class' luxury?? I guess it will
always be a complex set of factors which people commit to - some intrinsic
and some extrinsic - and if we are really talking about common purpose and
enlightened self-interest then the 'survival' of what the organisation
does will need to be important to everyone within it... and understood and
'owned' by all....????

>I am, however, more troubled than ever by this direction of decreasing
>employe loyalty because of a number of loosely threads that are coming
>together for me in an unusual way.
>First, as Ginger says (LO5285), if I understood correctly, that 80% of the
>people are not _intrinsically_ motivated. First corollary of that is that
>80% of managers (perhaps a bit less) are not _intrinsically_ motivated,
>either. And the second corollary is that managers who are not
>intrinsicallly motivated will not be changing the system anytime soon
>because they are being motivated if at all by another manager
>who, not surprisingly, only really knows one model.

This bugged me somehow.... if only 80% are intrinsically motivated does LO
stand a chance???

>Second, referring to the thread on Maslow, as people get closer to feeling
>insecure, more and more of their energy goes into heightening security at
>the expense of other goals.

... seems to stack up - but is downsizing so widespread that we are
building all our theories on models in which organizations are
insecure.... and is security based on the survival of the organisation or
on some other factors re the competences etc... the organization has
developed in the people etc... ???

>The third thread for me is a side conversation I have had with Ray Evans
>Harrell regarding the value of community and family.
>The fourth thread was Dave Birren's comment that he had not realized that
>the sun was part of the system causing evolution to occur because he
>imagined a different system. At that point, I realized what was troubling
>me was that we have defined our system too narrowly. This is not about
>WORK, it's about LIFE.
>When I put this question of employer loyalty into the "LIFE" perspective,
>I have a lot of questions, mostly with troubling answers. For example,
>How healthy is it for kids developmentally to lose connections with home
>and family as they move around while growing up?

As someone whose father was in the Royal Navy and who then joined the
Womens Royal Navy herself ... and who is now married to a clergyman (who
was in the Royal Navy) ......my experiences of moving around have been
mixed.... (and meant I lived in 33 homes the first 33 years of my
life!!).... generally I would say it has been LIFE enriching.... giving me
a breadth of perspectives and sense of diversity which I value. At times
it was lonely and painful....

>In the absence of long term relationships, what strategies do kids use to
>become quickly accepted in a new environment? Are these healthy

actually whilst I was moving around this was never an issue... especially
when the people I was with were moving as well ... we seemed to have the
capacity to mix and enrich each other quickly ... many of the
relationships were transient and people I loved and valued have passed
from my life ... others have remained long term friends.... it was only
when we have 'stopped' and tried to settle into static communities that
problems arose... I remember when my father left the Navy and we went back
to my parents home town it was difficult and I think my own strategies
were decidedly unhealthy... > >What are the implications regarding family
stress for two-earner >households when one earner has to move? > we have
found natural patterns in the ebbs and flows of our different careers
which have meant at one time or antoher one person has to make
sacrifices... I guess the problems arise when it is always the same

>How much investment do "nomadic" people make in a community they know they
>will not stay in for long?

.. IMHO investing in the community which you are 'currently' in is
probably more tangible for the nomad than for those who have always been
present.... you never take anything for granted and work to make it happen

>Does having nomadic kids help or hurt already over-challenged school

.. it will certainly change the nature of the challenges... for we cannot
take for granted that all those present have learnt the same things on
their way through the system... it will increase the diversity and we will
need to understand more how to work with it... we will notice more the
ways in which different approaches to learning have affected the children
in the system and possibly develop ways to use more ....

>My intuitive answer to all of these questions is not favorable, but I
>would love to hear from experts.

I am not an expert - but I have more stories I could share...

>My guesses are as follows: Kids need stability at certain times of their

... has the world ever been 'stable' ... will the 21st century
bring stability ... what price stability??

>Kids tend to resort to "cool" -- but destructive -- strategies to
>gain quick acceptance in a new environment. Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes,
>sex, and so forth.

Well I never smoked or did drugs but I guess I can relate to the rest...
and I can remember that some of those who had lived in the same town all
their lives did the whole drugs thing (my own cousin was a pretty tragic
case in point)

>Family stress increases exponentially when one of the
>earners has to move away to get work.

... does it increase ... or does the nature of it change.... ?

>Migratory people are far less
>likely to invest of themselves in the community.

??????????? migratory people may be more skilled at integrating
themselves into new communities because they have developed competencesto
do so borne of practice... and may invest because they know it will help
them become part of it quicker....

>School systems have huge
>logistical and socialization problems when there is a large nomadic

The schools which I went to in Singapore, which were run by the services
for the international (migrant) community were the best I can remember
from my school life.....

Thanks Rol - very stimulating...


Julie Beedon
VISTA Consulting - for a better future