Archive for the ‘Corporations’ Category

Uploaded on by ..jmd..

 There’s always talk about how to get a seat at the big table where decisions are made.  Training usually doesn’t get a seat unless a company has decided to have a Chief Learning Officer or the Senior HR person is also the training person. 

My experience is that the only way you get a seat at the table is if you have something to offer at a strategic level.  Here’s what I propose for your entry ticket.  First, you have to know what your current workforce currently knows.  This allows you to answer the question do we have people trained to accomodate a strategic change.

If you are going to need greater numbers of people, you need to be able to answer the question, how long does it take us to get new people up-to-speed?  Then you can answer the question about whether the timing of a new strategy is realistic.  If it takes six months to get people up to speed, you won’t be ready to go in two weeks no matter what the C.E.O. wants to do.

If you’re going to need completely new skills, you can also the answer the question how long does it take to retool the workforce.  With good historical data, you can show that this is often much longer than top management really thinks it is.

It’s always easy for a president to say, just get it done you have two week.  But that doesn’t get it done.  It just sets up failure for two weeks from now.  Good data will help you make a business case about what’s realistic.  Over time, they might even start coming to  you earlier in the process.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen executives take 9 to 12 months to make a decision and then want everything to happen in just weeks.  If they’d even made up their mind a month earlier, they might have all the time in the world for success.  I guess if you’re not the one doing the work you don’t appreciate how long things take.

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You read a lot of criticism of big busines such as Big Oil, Big Pharma and now Big Mac.  A lot of the historical anti-big business comes out of the early 1900s when there was a small number of big businesses and an equally small number of captains of industry.

That world has changed dramatically in a hundred years.  The biggest change comes from the sheer numbers of these businesses.  First, if you look at the top 100 companies only a small handful existed a hundred years ago.  In fact their entire industries didn’t exist.  Even companies like GE look nothing like they did.  Their largest business unit is financial services and not manufacturing.

In something like pharaceuticals, you have hundreds of highly competitive companies that often have very little in common.  Instead of conspiring in a big kabal, they are more likely trying ways to take market share from each other.

There is also a tremendous amount of transparancy in the companies because they are publicly traded and often owned by large money funds.  At the bottom line what these companies really care about is a stable set of rules to play by. 

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