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Showing posts from June, 2012

Why you got laid-off...

Lay-offs are so common in today's landscape that my children play pretend games where one kid is said to have been laid-off or another is the boss and gets to say, "You're fired!" Maybe we owe some of that to Donald Trump. Either way, it's curious vernacular for the kindergarten playground.

It got me thinking about the constant churn of cuts-and-more-cuts we have seen in the IT industry since the late 1990s and everything I have learned about who lands on The List and why. Here's what I can share with you...

First, we should clarify that getting laid off is not the same thing as getting fired. In a lay off, you receive a severance package and reassurances that it's not you, it's me (or rather us). When you're fired, your employment is abruptly terminated because your employer feels you did something really bad. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but either way, you got to walk out the door with the security guard.

I'm here to talk about lay…

Transformation: The ubiquitous, synergistic paradigm that IBM got right

Please note the title is intended with some humor... see last post.


Within the world of IT services, the rampant explanation for HP's struggles to successfully integrate their Enterprise Services organization (EDS) into the corporate mother ship is that hardware companies just don't understand services. (See eWeek: Why Most of HP's layoffs will be on the Services side.) And yet... IBM did it.

IBM... Grumble. Grumble.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, in which case IBM's head is likely about to burst. When they launched IBM Global Services in the mid-90s, Big Blue completely redefined itself as a global provider of end-to-end IT solutions integrating hardware, software and services. Lickedy split, they were the global leader - and at consistently fat margins. It was a staggering hit for EDS, the company that invented the IT services industry. When HP bought EDS in 2008, bumping into the coveted Top 10 o…

Transformation: The ubiquitous, synergistic paradigm blah blah blah

Having grown up in the world of IT services, I regularly fall victim to the use of Dilbertisms (as captured here in Business Buzzword Bingo). In my world, you really can say transformation, ubiquitous, synergistic and paradigm in the same sentence without garnering a chuckle from your audience. Some of my favorite buzz words include:

Right size - fire a lot of people under the auspices of having more people than work to be doneBest shore - fire a lot of people in wealthy countries and replace them with a few people in poor countriesShift left - fire a lot of expensive, highly skilled employees and replace them with inexpensive, less skilled employees who are expected to cover the same workOptimize - cut costs (code for fire a lot of people)Leverage - do the same volume of work with less people but tell them it's easier now because everyone will do the same thing the same wayWhiteboard (used as a verb) - write down what you're thinking... on a white board
So when my friends ask …

Yes. It is a risk!

As a heavy user of LinkedIn, I was disappointed to read headlines yesterday about the Russian hacker who stole 6.5 million passwords. (See CNNMoney: More than 6 million LinkedIn passwords stolen.) The first thing I did was change my LinkedIn password. It took a whopping 1 minute of my time. Imagine my dismay today as I read this article on Mashable telling you about a secure Web site where you can enter your LinkedIn password to see whether it's one of the ones that was stolen. And if it was stolen? Then you should change your password.

Oh my gosh.
It reminds me of this funny Belgian guy named Jan that I worked with years ago. He explained to me once that he had saved the number in his cell phone that you call if you lose your cell phone. I pointed out that if he loses his cell phone he will have also lost the number he needs to call.
"Yes," he said, pausing to consider the dilemma. "It is a risk."
Poor Jan. He's probably testing his LinkedIn password on th…