Dumb Change Management Ideas

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

It seems like downsizing never goes out of style. And the same idiotic way of handling layoffs (firings) persists as well. In Business 2.0’s lists of the dumbest business decisions, they note that when Northwest Airlines laid off thousands of ground workers last year, they issued these people the booklet, “101 Ways to Save Money.” One tip favors dumpster diving. “Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.” And the list goes on.

Someone must have thought that giving the little book was a good idea. Don’t you want to just slap those decision makers silly? Did they ever, for even a moment, put themselves into the shoes of the people who were about to lose their careers? Seems doubtful. We might think about the Northwest folly the next we roll out a major change that impacts the lives of many. Do we opt for ways to help people maintain their dignity and self-respect? For example, do we get them involved in helping make the decisions that effect their lives? Or do we bring a motivational speaker that assures folks that everything will be dandy, if they just keep a positive attitude about them – and then pass out coffee cups inscribed with an inspirational slogan?(The issue of Business 2.0 is 1/07.  What can I say, I just got around to reading it.)