Monday, January 11, 2010

How a recession can lift the fog

Stop for a moment and think back a year and a half. Look how much things have changed. Sure, the economic changes are clear. But let's look at something not as quantitative: people.

I consulted with a corporation two years. They were succeeding and were "full of themselves." Everything seemed to be going their way. They had some great employees, but like most enterprises, they had a lot of so-so performers, too. The trouble, in retrospect, was that their so-so performers acted and had the demands of the top performers. The situation clouded the reality that many of those so-so performers were actually over-compensated. But two years ago, who could say something like that? It was unthinkable.

Today that corporation is recovering from the recession. And what their leadership now views as unthinkable is giving those so-so performers increased compensation, in fact they're fortunate to have a job.

The fog has lifted for all of us. It's time to think introspectively: how good is our product or service? How good am I as a performer? Am I really bringing anything meaningful to the table when I'm in a meeting or on an assignment?
Clearer decisions will be made now that the fog has lifted. That spells opportunities for the right people and the right companies. It also foretells major negative changes for the people and companies that don't perform at a high level.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

1 comment:

  1. Barry,

    Well put.

    These last few posts really get to the heart of maintaining productivity in times of high unemployment--as important as this issue has been in the last generation or two.

    I’d like to add that it is not necessarily raw talent that drives this productivity. Some people, especially those out of work or those fearing a layoff, might read your post and feel that it is solely the lack of intelligence, education or talent that puts them at risk in these times.

    But the sort of A+ effort I think you’re talking about is not usually rooted in those attributes, but rather ARE the root that those attributes either flower or wither from--hard work, honesty, clear communication, collaboration and passion to name few.