Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Vendors must sing and dance for free

Sing for free, svp
CEO Stan and I (as well as my assistant Ms Cynthia Axe-Head of Early Retirement) expect OD practitioners, talent managers and trainers to focus on cost reduction in all pro bono web based interventions we will commission, to expedite agility, sustainability and globalness, in a timely fashion.

Preference will be given to vendor-free OD interventions and free webinars, and to those vendors who guarantee success, with a notarized document.

Vendors and webinars must motivate our staff to maintain work work work work life balance and encourage working moms to work, and be data driven.

Preference will be given to vendors who develop webinars in the third world, yet speak English with a posh British accent.


  1. Might I commend to the attention of the Misses Rambottom-Lemieux and Ax-Head that most excellent and proven tool of forced-ranking (aka up-or-out or rank-and-yank). This is, indeed, absolutely guaranteed to create the necessary dedication and intensity.

    Similar “socialization” processes are common in professional service firms, not least merchant banks, and in the corporations that copy them (GE, Ford Motor, Conoco, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, EDS and many others including, of course, Enron in its day). They entail a rigorous, annual search for weakness, routine force-ranking of your people and firing a fixed percent – the “worst of the best”. In his 2001 memoir "Jack: Straight from the Gut", none other than Jack Welch (GE’s former CEO) strongly advocates the practice. By the third year of forced firings, “it is war” he promises.

    I can personally attest to the nervous breakdowns, divorces, ulcers, heart attacks premature babies and even suicides this will lead to. All healthy signs of a right-minded work work work life balance. Nobody sloping off at weekends and many all-nighters. Joy.


  2. Oh yes, you wanted suggestions on OD consultants.

    Shameless plug, might I commend my former-firm, McKinsey & Company, as ideal consultants to partner with you in this endeavour? McKinsey know all about forced-ranking as (like most professional service firms) they practice it themselves. Jeff Skilling, Enron’s President (another former McKinsey consultant), described their Performance Review Committee (affectionately known as “rank and yank”) as the “most important process that we conduct as a company”. Don’t be put off by his 24 year prison sentence and US $45 million fine. As, indeed, you should not be put off by the insider-trading scandal involving Rajat Gupta (former managing director of McKinsey). After all, he did the right thing in turning himself in. As CNN Money assures us, this does not affect McKinsey at all:

  3. Dear Geoffrey,
    Why did Rajat Gupta not globalize his name? One cannot know whether this a male or female, for heaven sakes. It reminds me on the names in all our "Oriental" offices.

  4. So true, Gloria. Maybe you should be offering your consulting wisdom to them. Looks like they need it. (For a very large fee, of course, or they won't respect it). I'll happily give you an outstanding reference (for a much smaller fee).

  5. This blog is wild stuff!