Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Dirty Little Secret of Successful Companies (A Response)

Two responses to the Jay Goltz post in the NYT, The Dirty Little Secret of Successful Companies:

Response 1

Pfeffer is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford GSB. In The Human Equation, he lays out 7 principles of successful companies, two of which are obviously relevant:

  • Selective hiring of new personnel
  • Extensive training

The entire list:

  • Employment Security
  • Self-managed teams and decentralized decision making
  • Relatively high compensation contingent on organizational performance
  • Reduced status distinctions
  • Extensive sharing of financial/performance information

Response 2

Evaluations can be very arbitrary.

In one former position at a major bank, I was rated excellent year after year by various 'handlers'; I was never really managed. Well, a competing bank bought one of the trading desks, and then the management went with them. I was still excellent with the replacement managers, but my most senior supporter was shipped off to Europe to manage technology there, and I was left with the other senior person in the department. For her, I was just dead wood of the prior environment, and I hated almost everything about the new manager's style. Instead of being a 5/5, I became a 3/5, a 'six'. It took a year or two, but eventually I was laid off during a merger.

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