Needless Layoffs

by Jan Yuill

Lee Stranahan, in his December 6th Huffington Post article, “Congress Must Hold Hearings With CEOs Who Lay Off Workers” says that he is “tired of reading about the job layoffs daily while witnessing the lavish spending and bad decisions of incompetent CEOs.” He believes “these executives – not the workers – are often the reason for a company’s difficulties,” and has started a petition to get things moving.

And then I read the 2001 article, “Moving Upward in a Downturn,” written by Darrell Rigby in the Harvard Business Review after the dot-com bubble burst. Seven years ago he said that smart companies exploit industry downturns by harnessing unique opportunities and placing counterintuitive bets to outperform slumping competitors.

When will we ever learn? Layoffs are a knee-jerk reaction to dark clouds on the horizon. We can gasp and groan about the impending doom; or we can put our hand to the plough and apply ourselves. So much is rooted in our mindset, our beliefs, our outlook. We reap what we sow.