Sticky Downsizing

These are very trying times for business organizations and their members.

I was downsized a month ago. In the past four weeks, I have had half a dozen new product ideas for my former employer. Having no voice there anymore, there is no channel (other than my informal contacts that still work there) for bringing them forward.

So these ideas will go unheard. Ideas that could help that organization, as well as help me.

Unfortunately, the way that downsizing is traditionally conducted, there's no channel for the ex-employee to contribute. The way it's done today, you are told to leave the building. You are not to come back. You can't get your severance unless you sign a several page document where you promise not to sue. A chilly wall comes down between you and the organization.

So...Imagine if, instead of this stone-cold downsizing, there was another way . . .

A way where an employer could get smaller and thereby save costs, but where the people who are being shed are somehow still part of a larger community, still heard, and still eligible to be compensated for their valued inputs.

Today I came across a Fast Company piece about companies that "downsize but stay connected."

The writer calls it "creative downsizing." I'd call it sticky downsizing.

I think it's an idea worth much more discussion.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, December 1,2008


Dean said…
You are so right, and it is a sad situation. So much is lost in so many ways. Hope you can find some way to use the ideas that you have had.
Terrence Seamon said…
Actually, I am developing a book proposal. Let's see where this goes....
Bruce Lewin said…
Absolutely - I guess this needs to go beyond the alumni approach of existing firms?
Doug said…
I'm still listening!
Terrence Seamon said…
Hi Bruce and Doug,

Bruce: I'd like to find examples of employers who are proactively staying connected with their downsized employees.

Doug: I know you are. You are exceptional!

Bruce Lewin said…
NOthing other that the somewhat ubiquitous alumni groups you see dotted aroud the place I'm afraid!

If I find anything, I'll be sure to share it!

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