Executive Compensation And Unemployment | Mark Cuban’s Proposition

As this month’s unemployment figures were breaking (8.5%), Mark Cuban weighed in on fixing executive compensation. The ideas are related. As the discussion on executive pay continues, my message is simple.  Give credit to those executives who bust their asses to avoid layoffs except in cases where its an absolute necessity. Pay ‘em a premium vs those who cut jobs in profitable companies.  Look to private companies as guides to what a well managed company can accomplish, and how executives are compensated. Blogmaveric.com – Mark Cuban His post is a great reminder that in many ways layoffs are an admission of failure by executive management – the investment in human capital they made has not paid off and must now be written off.  This devastating blow to the emotional health of a firm and its knowledge base is not improved by an impression that the executive ranks are rewarded for causing so much pain. … Continue reading

Can Smiles Overcome Jerks?

The jerk in Felps’ research primarily teased those around him. Everyone laughed. No one wanted to repeat the experience.  Many feel teasing is part of the bonding process.  I’m guilty I admit.  Turns out the ‘innocent’ teasing costs your company hard cold productivity cash. In his research negative emotions traveled perfectly well, not only ruining the team’s day, but by the end of the experience many in the meeting picking up on the behaviors of  the ‘bad apple.’ Now the good news. Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in December 2008 shows that happiness can also travel in an infections sort of way across several degrees of separation. (Bob’s Happy, He knows Sue, You know Sue’s friend, You’re Happy!) The good news is that Happy seems to travel better than Sad.   The ability for emotions to transfer infectiously without a conscious cause reinforces the need to carefully … Continue reading

The Ostrich Strategy

Sometimes an industry faces a long term threat that appears so overwhelming that the long term strategy appears to involve sticking management’s collective heads’ in the sand, hoping the problem goes away. Now, it turns out that an ostrich does not stick its head in the sand. An ostrich is smarter than that. An ostrich learns to lay low, head to the ground, blending in with the scenery until it is time to jump up and run. Or jump up, kick and run. Or bite, kick and run. An ostrich keeps its options open. Many strategic plans appear to do the same thing with long term threats. The threat gets mentioned, maybe a study group is formed, maybe a bit of research is assigned. True believers in the importance of the long term threat might even be given a ’special project’ to concentrate on. Truth be told, this is just … Continue reading

You Can’t Hide from a Marketing Problem

There has been an ongoing discussion during the past few years about the integrity of business. (Think Enron, Haliburton, etc.) I think this conversation has been somewhat overstated given that the majority of business owners in the U.S. are honest and trustworthy people trying to succeed in a very chaotic marketplace. For the past several years, the marketplace has seemed to reward businesses that have a great “presence” but not always a strong delivery system. I have always hated the phrase “they can talk the talk but can they walk the walk?” But, for many businesses, the past decade focused on the talking and not worrying so much about walking. And I think it is because marketing has, as a discipline, taken a different role in business than traditionally wielded. We have, in some corners, become more about communications, ‘Q’ scores and “buzz” and less about building and growing a … Continue reading