Tuesday, October 07, 2008

 

Today's List is Brought to You by the Letter 'R'

Recession

Rescission

Revision

Review

Realign

Rethink

Reorganize

Retrench

RIF

Tune in next week, when the list will be brought to you by the letter 'F'

Comments:
I think you generally meant "Brought to you buy the prefix 'RE'" Perhaps also:

React

Refocus

Re-evaluate

Realign

Re-energize

Refine

Respond

Might I suggest that what your community college (and really, everyone) needs at this point is a little less negativity and focus on what you can't do, and bit more focus on the opportunities this presents.

Don't believe they are out there? They are, trust me. Opportunities are always there.

Does this mean you won't lay anyone off? Nope. Sometimes the opportunity has a cost, but with the series of "re's" you propose, everyone hurts, everyone contracts, everyone loses.

If you can't find the opportunities here, for your college, in your neck of the woods, might I suggest you seek out someone who does.
 
One of the consequences of schools adopting an institutional growth model patterned after the cancerous cell is that this pattern pretty much assumes a linear progression. This model's basic hostility to anything like a cyclic (and hence more life-like) pattern shows up in the trouble linear growth models have in handling the normal and temporary downturns that cyclic growth implies. Linear people won't see a normal downward part of a cycle, they'll see a tailspin, and the frantic and reactive corrective actions they often propose, whether they're effective or not, only validate the difference between the two models. The idea here is not that one model works and the other does not (they both work), but that schools are among the few places where people whose personal psychologies are more amenable to cyclic patterns can find a job that won't eventually drive them crazy. Cyclic people reporting to highly linear supervisors can find themselves in hard spots now and then.
 
is that RIF or RIP?
 
One's opinion of a linear trend might depend on the sign of the slope. If it's not looking positive...
 
Am I going to have to lay people off? Most likely? And no matter how much I respond, re-energize, refine, blah, blah, blah, it will be at significant cost to those people. Don't be so quick to make hay out of other people's pain, professor.
 
Making hay? I think not. I also wasn't making light of it either. I would just argue that everyone sitting around circling the wagons, complaining about how things are getting bad, doesn't help anyone.

Perhaps I should moderate my comment a bit. Let's do it this way. Find the opportunities that exist, and then help those that are being hit hardest.

Remember last time I argued that we shouldn't be quick to just cut people loose? I was on the short end of that argument. I do understand the difference between firing someone for cause, and having to let them go as part of a restructuring. My position doesn't change. You should do all you can to help them land on their feet.

Lest my point get lost in the defense, I was trying to argue that one should ditch the pessimism, and find out how the organization can move forward and in fact thrive. Pessimistic leaders, well, aren't.
 
Pessimistic leaders, well, aren't. Realistic leaders, well, are.
 
Looks like I should have added "Rorsarch"!
 
Regular readers respect recent rhetorical rhythms, relatively. Really!
 
I'm not so sure the professor was "making hay out of other people's pain."

Which causes more pain:
A. proactively reading the environment and trying to adapt your business model to economic and political realities . . . or

B. adopting the "behind the barricades" mentality of "us" (The Righteous and Put-Upon) against "them" (Those Unreasonable Others)?

Look, no Mental Gob-Stoppers here just a painful attempt at introspecitve-inducing Straight Talk.

You really need to read an ancient article from the business world (yeah, I know, "Ugh!") called "Marketing Myopia."

It's 1911: Are you a buggy-whip maker or a transportation facilitation provider?
 
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