Oct 17, 2008

Laying off the Innovators

With the Jet Airways posts (here , here  and here ) looks like we have a 'lay off' meme on this blog, and the trend continues , when I came across this post by Bob Sutton that in times of massive pruning of headcount how do you make sure that the really creative people are not laid off too?

But beware of the evils of using layoffs as a reason to expel everyone in your organization who does not act, think, and look like everyone else -- beware that most of us are prone to hold an overly narrow image of a "good employee."  As I show in Weird Ideas that Work, since we human-beings have powerful and positive emotional reactions to people who are "just like us," and equally powerful negative reactions to people who are "different," the hiring process in most organizations acts to "bring in the clones."

Unfortunately, when organizations are doing layoffs they have the hat of the cost cutter, not the innovator. That's why it does not come naturally.

So when someone is strategising out the layoff they have to think simultaneously about growth in the future. And therefore holding on to the hope of a better future and the people who can take you there is important.