Learning while downsizing LO21870

Wed, 9 Jun 1999 07:43:47 +0800

Replying to LO21836 --

Genna Southworth's described situation is coded in structural format, for which
I provide some of my ideas and opinions.

Goal: What ideas to go about lay-off management?

Fact: Lay-off
Fact: System Thinking

Symptom: An external consultant working with a small (54 employee)
family-owned manufacturing business.
Symptom: This company has considered itself a learning organization (although
I'm not convinced!)
Symptom: This company has a fairly progressive culture (again, not as
progressive as they think it is).
Symptom: The average employee has been with the company for 8-10 years, with
very little natural turnover.
Symptom: The company has a far-reaching reputation in our state for our culture,
products, etc.
Symptom: For the first time in its 20 year history, the company is facing
layoff's -- probably 15-20+%.
Symptom: Being the shepherd of the process but never facilitated a change as
dramatic as this.
Symptom: What plan that that supports the culture and creates an opportunity to
really learn through the crisis.
Symptom: Need basic info about lay-off management.

Cause: Need ideas to go about lay-off management

Fix: There are three focus areas : a) Self-principles, b) Business
survival, and c) those to be laid-off.

a) Self-principles

As shepherd of the lay-off process, one should be guided by sound human
values and principles in very move, action, thought and behavior e.g.
integrity, fairness, professionalism, honesty, sincerity, compassion etc.

b) Business survival

Apply system thinking objectively on the business survival. From the above
described symptoms, there is possibility of poor management. If that is
so, lay-off is no solution, as it only provides temporary relief, unless
it is a break or make situation over a number of employee payroll. With
good analysis and research, one should never fail to influence the
business owner of the real fundamental problems other than lay-off.

c) For those eventually have to be laid-off, provide coaching and
motivation to help them stand on their own feet so that they can find a
new living. If it is true that people is not the cause of the poor
business performance, choose those who are more independent for lay-off,
e.g. more knowledge and skills so that they could find new living easily,
as long as delicate balance is made not to seriously affect client's
business survival.

Source: <a href="mailto:andrewwhs@hotmail.com">Andrew
Wong</a>, <a href="http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5621"
target="_blank">Web Page</a>

I hope the above provides some extra perspectives.


Andrew Wong
Organisation Observer and Thinker
Personal Coach & Organisation Coach
QuaSyLaTic Virtual Community Organiser
An associate of Outsights



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