LO and Big Layoffs LO5342

Tobin Quereau (quereau@austin.cc.tx.us)
Sun, 4 Feb 1996 13:20:20 -0600 (CST)

Replying to LO5306 --

I, for one, am as disturbed as you are about the issues of increased
"mobility" (which is probably a euphemism for "instability" and
"unpredictability") in employment. I can't help but wince when I hear how
the employees need to "take responsibility" for their "employability"
since companies can no longer reliably provide employment for any
reasonable length of time. Especially when I know how little time and
opportunity is given to these very employees for continued education and
training which will enhance their future work prospects.

It is one thing for executives with high salaries, stock options, and
golden parachutes (the ones who inevitably make such decisions) to manage
in such a temporary world, it is entirely another thing for most of those
in the workplace--as even mid-level managers are finding out so

(I also recognize that it is only reasonable to acknowledge that
responsibility and act in accordance with it. In the current situation to
do otherwise is to invite greater dislocation. But please allow me to
voice my consternation anyway.)

I have just finished reading Goldratt's latest book, _It's Not Luck_, and
I think he hit it right on the head when he described the use of
downsizing, rightsizing, inside-out sizing as often an example of those in
leadership positions taking the easy way out. I like his idea that we need
to learn how to make use of the resources we have and find ways to sustain
the life of the organizations--and the employees who give them life--for
which we have assumed stewardship.

I don't have answers on just how to do this, but I do believe the
consequences of the quick and dirty approach will--like crash dieting--
have many unexpected side-effects of the sort you are outlining.

The balance of stability with change is one of the essential dynamics at
play throughout the universe, and one which must be addressed more
effectively if continued growth and development in our organizations and
our economy are to occur.

I know this is mostly a polemic, but I wonder how others see it...

Tobin Quereau
Austin Community College