LO and Big Layoffs LO5566

Tue, 13 Feb 1996 09:36:41 +0800

Replying to LO5514 --

Hi Everyone!

Even though I was a "victim" of layoffs (formerly AT&T), I must say that I
didn't have much interest in this particular thread, and confess that I
have only read about 60-70% of the e-mail on the subject. But for some
reason I have decided to throw in my .02, not on how to deal with clients
on the issue but more of a macro perspective.

1. Could it be that layoffs are part of the process of transitioning to
what Toffler called the "The Third Wave"? If "industrialization" uproots
families, could this move toward more consulting/contracting, etc. bring
families closer and create a new although different sense of community?

2. Has anyone done any research on the people who have been layed off -
are they happier a year or two down the road? Are they glad it happened?
I wonder if it might parallel some research I saw on lottery winners -
after the initial euphoria, apparently most people wish they have never
won. Could it be the reverse for the victims of layoffs?

3. I feel the data presented on whether or not downsizing is effective in
raising profits is quite inconclusive. So Senge says that only 41% of
companies achieve their projected savings - fair enough. But of the other
59%, how close did they get to their projected savings? Did they still
manage to save significant money?

4. I will add one more perspective. Here in Singapore, layoffs are
really a gift. Employees don't rely on company pension plans (there is a
wonderful govt scheme for retirement), and relatively little unemployment,
so a retrenchment package is a bonus. So the survivors in a downsizing
here often cry, but for themselves because they didn't get the package.
So while U.S. (and to a lesser extent European) MNC's earn a reputation
for not being loyal employers, they also have provided lots of families
with extra money in their savings accounts.

After these points, it might sound that I am in favor of downsizing, which
is not true, as I still advocate more creative solutions. And perhaps
some of my thinking expressed above is a bit simplistic - I just wanted to
throw in some food for thought and a perspective on the issue from another

Peace & Courage,

Doug O'Loughlin

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>