LO and Big Layoffs LO5614

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@AZStarNet.com)
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 21:57:57 -0700

Replying to LO5550 --

I wrote:
>> In the military, where assignments averaged 3 years for "middle managers"
>> and 2 years for commanders, the "Not on my watch" mindset was rampant.
>> But I attribute it less to the "temporary" nature of the position and more
>> directly to the reward/promotion system. I can see the potential for the
>> same circumstance in management training programs for large corporations.
>> It's very probably the reward process (what branch office you get rewarded
>> with) rather than the transience that drives short-term thinking and
>> behavior. You only get those two years or six months to make an impact,
>> get results. I ask you to consider this.

Ivan Blanco wrote:

>The problem I see with this is that what is rwarded in the
>military may not be even desirable in corporations. For instance, when an
>officer lands one of those short-term assignments, knowing that he or she
>is on his or her way to better things, then they tend to do nothing.
>There is a lot of gatekeeping and extablishment holding. If you try to
>stir things too much, then you may not get the best posts in the puture
>because the guys at the top might think that you are too weird or even
>dangerous! I don't know if one can always produce desirable results in
>the short-term assignments in the corporation. The situation there mighht
>be a little bit more complicated than in the military.

On the contrary, my dear, what takes place is obviously just the opposite
of what you think. Rather than "15 minutes of fame," you get the two
years one may have as a commander when you must leave your mark. You
aren't content with incremental or gradual change, it must be dramatic,
immediate, and obvious. And spare no short term expense, 'cause you won't
be around to see/pay the consequences. You'll get rewarded/promoted and
move on. Just talk to any civilian employee of the Department of Defense
you may have occasion to meet. They've seen them all! No no, the sticks
in the mud are the turf protectors at staff level--a cut above the middle
management layer.

Again to confirm my point, it's the reward process that elicits the
behavior, not the temporary nature of the position. Rol's original
mention was stories that circulate in Asia concerning corporate American
executive training programs also obtaining these behaviors.


Ginger Shafer
The Leadership Dimension
"Bringing Leadership to Life"

vshafer@AZStarNet.com (Virginia I. Shafer)

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