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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 »

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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 friend Ford Harding just posted an interesting dilemma in his Rainmaking problem series and asked his readers for comments: 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 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

“… more routine work like legal research, due diligence and document review is being done in India at roughly half the cost as in the U.S., outsourcers say. Starting associates at big U.S. firms often bill more than $200 an hour. But an experienced lawyer in India bills at $75 to $100 an hour, roughly the bottom rate for some U.S. paralegals.

“Legal outsourcing in India currently draws around $250 million in annual revenue, analysts estimate. That’s a tiny portion of the $40 billion in revenue for India’s technology-outsourcing firms. But legal outsourcing is growing quickly, while tech-outsourcing firms are struggling to grow.”

Read more

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

Chief executives in the US have total salary and incentives packages typically one and three quarter times the size of those of their European equivalents – almost €9.7 million compared to €5.6 million in Europe. Base salaries for chief executives tend to be lower in the US than in Europe – but bonuses and long-term incentives are much bigger in the US. Hay Group conducted a study of the pay of chief executives which provides a clear picture of their rewards.  The report (requires registration) analyzes executive compensation data from the largest European and US companies (50 of each).  It covers:

  • Base salary
  • Annual incentive plans
  • Total cash
  • Long-term incentive plans
  • Total direct compensation

The report also looks at fees paid to European chairmen and non-executive chairmen.

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