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“…we’re realizing that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending,” writes Seth Godin in a provocative post, perhaps fittingly on this weekend symbolizing rebirth for one of the world’s major religions.

Only problem is his use of the word “ending” – the industrial run, as a driver of economic growth, actually ended a decade or so ago Read the rest of this entry »

I continue to be fascinated by Carlota Perez’ work on Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital. Briefly, she identifies 50 or so year periods of great economic advancement, followed by a bust which then creates the conditions for a period of steady growth and prosperity; each period goes through five phases: 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 »

Since 2005, Hay Group has researched the Best Companies for Leadership. In previous years our research focused on understanding how organizations were planning on meeting the impending leadership shortage, driven by growth in emerging markets coinciding with the retirement of the baby boomer generation. 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.

[from the Hay Group Leader:] While companies are battening down the hatches trying to weather today’s tough economic climate, the best companies for leaders also have their eyes on the long-term. Read the rest of this entry »

“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 »

In my related posts, Five great technological revolutions and The coming infrastructure boom, I described – and perhaps oversimplified – Carlota Perez’s insights into the dynamics of bubbles and their ensuing golden ages (her book, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital requires some work, but is worth the effort). In this post, Read the rest of this entry »

The prior post (below or click here) generated some very perceptive comments from around the net – as a thanks to everyone who contributed, here are some excerpts regarding my colleague’s cover letter: Read the rest of this entry »

A recently laid-off colleague from a prior employer contacted me about leads for jobs. I willingly offered to help, and made some contacts – one looked like a perfect fit.  Here is the letter my colleague wrote, only slightly edited for public posting: 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 »

Businesses that win in a downturn provide clear direction in the face of uncertainty, reassuring when necessary, all the while continuing to push for results. Their leaders create energizing, engaging work climates by using the full range of leadership styles, Read the rest of this entry »

Business Week’s Jena McGregor asked in the Management IQ blog, in light of the current economic crisis, “Are fresh management ideas dead? Does the pendulum swing back to cost-cutting and efficiency drives mean we’re headed for a time when innovative ideas are crushed? I posted the following: Read the rest of this entry »

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