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Showing posts from April, 2008

Commercial Friendships

I have been in the corporate life long enough to have seen my early mentors retire or otherwise move on to their own businesses. Its been interesting to watch the social dynamic of people who are tight with one another on the job, and how that changes as people change jobs or retire. Some of the most hurt and disillusioned people I know are those who took to heart assurances of true friendship from people who were simply colleagues. One of the truest tests of the bonds between you and those who befriend you at work is what happens after you no longer work together. I've seen this again recently through not only our staff reduction, but just the overall transition from the founding management team to the current Nelson leadership. We've had some turnover, particularly in Marketing and at Women of Faith, and of course at the CEO/Board level as we went private. I've seen evidence of true friendship that is lasting long after the commerce ended, and I've heard hurt f

"Christian" Competitive Spin

The Reduction in Force from last week has now been implemented, and most of those leaving the company are starting their outplacement. Some are trying to negotiate better exit packages, and the inevitable 2-6 legal disputes (I'm making an educated estimate based upon headcount leaving) are being formed. As of this reduction I've now passed the 1,100 mark in people I've helped terminate in my 25+ years in HR or operations. As reductions go (none of them are pleasant), this one seems to be heading in the right direction. People's spirits are good, and we're getting inquiries from companies wanting to hire some of them. We've had a resignation or two that will create openings for someone on the list, and we're generally getting high marks from our remaining staff as to how we implemented the reduction and are treating our people. Here at "ground zero" things are generally positive, which makes the spin on this from some agents and competitors c

Employer Power and Personal Conduct

Its been quite a week, and its only Wednesday morning. A few months ago I was asked to co-present a seminar on hiring and selection at the Christian Leadership Conference going on right now in Dallas. The pre - conference session was Monday, and we were planning a reduction in force for Tuesday. We worked late Friday getting all the details together, I put my presentation together Saturday, flew out Sunday and met with my co-presenters Sunday night to put our respective pieces together, presented on Monday, and flew out that same night to execute the reduction in force Tuesday morning. At the seminar I found myself annoyed and uneasy as to the nature of many of the questions from the audience. These were managers or HR administrators in non-profits and churches, and they were interested in Thomas Nelson's policies. I don't think half the crowd liked my answers any more than I liked their questions: Q: Do you have to be a Christian to be hired at Thomas Nelson? A: No Q: Do y