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After Food, Inc (see my prior post, immediately below) opened my eyes to how food production has rather radically changed over the past couple of decades, I’m now conscious of how much attention we are starting to pay to nutrition as a society.

And when society pays attention, markets pay attention. And when markets pay attention (assuming there are no distortions), the incentives created by demand drives increased supply cause change to happen, very quickly. Not only are individuals and organizations motivated by potential profits rewarded, with the most responsive and efficient reaping the highest returns, but society as a whole is better off.

For example, in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Read the rest of this entry »

Once again, I find myself flabbergasted at service levels in the midst of the worst recession most of us have ever seen.  In my post How not to make a sale, I describe how a retailer drove us from a physical establishment after we had committed to buy. But it appears that direct retail operations are also not immune mistakes in organization, job design and incentives that result in lousy service.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hay Group‘s research on the Fortune Most Admired Companies shows that those who make the matrix work get results: better and faster decisions. The seemingly simple trick is getting managers to act in the best interests of the company as a whole, not just maximizing their own results.

But this has implications for jobs, rewards, behaviors, culture and structure. Most critical: command-and-control management styles must give way to collaboration and cooperation. To crack the matrix code, organizations must: Read the rest of this entry »

The median salaries and bonuses for the chief executives of 200 big U.S. companies fell 8.5% to $2.24 million, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Hay Group, a management consulting firm. The analysis examined proxy statements for companies with more than $5 billion in annual revenue. Survey details here.

“By most measures, 2008 was a terrible year for home builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. Its stock plunged 62%, revenue fell 31% and the company posted a $1.1 billion loss in the fiscal year ended Oct. 31. Yet Hovnanian’s board awarded Chief Executive Ara Hovnanian a bonus of $1.5 million in cash and stock. The reason: Mr. Hovnanian had helped the company stockpile cash, according to Hovnanian’s Feb. 4 proxy statement…” Read more here of Phred Dvorak’s WSJ article here: Poor year doesn’t stop CEO bonuses.

The reference post was really fun to write, and it generated a HUGE response.  It was a treat to read all the comments from various forums – a very sincere thanks to everyone who contributed! Here are some extracts that I found really compelling – I want to share these verbatim while I structure my thinking on what I think they mean – apologies for the length, but this is worth reading to the end:

More than one challenged my sanity, e.g.: Read the rest of this entry »

My Hay Group colleague Jeffrey Bacher writes:


While most of the attention on executive compensation has focused on CEOs, it really is the compensation committee of the board of directors that is responsible for the ultimate executive pay decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

In the midst of perhaps the biggest financial meltdown since the 1930s, no companies seem immune to investor pressure, other than perhaps WalMart and McDonalds, who managed to eke out stock market gains in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Science Times on Tuesday, Dec. 16, in a piece entitled “A Crisis of Confidence for Masters of the Universe” Dr. Richard Friedman, writing about the  impact of the economic crisis on high achievers, notes: Read the rest of this entry »

Nearly half (48%) of organizations globally are decreasing or freezing existing staffing levels, up from 20% in the March study. For those planning layoffs, median staffing level decreases are approximately 7.5%. Only 3% of organizations globally are planning to increase staffing levels. Read the rest of this entry »

MACs outscore consistently outscore others on the following: Read the rest of this entry »

“Rather than immediately reject or accept a lowball deal, you should mount a careful counterattack, experts recommend. You could improve your chances of winning a satisfactory compromise, with tradeoffs ranging from a faster pay review to extra perquisites….

“As part of your homework, you must grasp a potential employer’s problems so you can promote yourself as a problem solver worth more than the proposed skimpy pay.”

Read more:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122817186202670399.html

Reward programs are powerful tools in creating and keeping talent, but an exclusive recalibration of Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Companies” list shows total rewards isn’t all about money.

read more | digg story

While he focuses on getting hired, this is a great read for anyone who ever has to sell anything…which means all of us.

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