I�m reading a book at the moment �The New Corporate Cultures� by Terrence Deal and Allan Kennedy (first printing October 2000). You may like the following quotes:
�The era from roughly the mid-1980s until the millennium will go down in business history as one dominated by short-term managerial actions. While improved competitiveness and increased wealth are the positives of this era of management, there has been a downside, as well. Much of the downside can be seen in the wreckage of traditional corporate cultures that litters the business landscape.�
�To cut costs, companies have been repeatedly downsized, and the mindsets and attitudes of employees�both those who were victimized and those who survived--have been permanently scarred. Company loyalty as it used to be is a thing of the past. Employees have been forced to learn that their first loyalty must be to themselves. It will take some time for this fundamental attitude change to work its way through to tangible behavioral changes, but proof of the deterioration in people�s willingness to work hard without question is near at hand. The next time a serious downturn occurs, and economic history suggests that it will, companies will have to look elsewhere than to employees for the extra efforts needed to weather the storm.�
�In the latter half of the 1990s, managers have resorted to stock-market-oriented mergers as last ditch efforts to shore up their companies� stock prices. Often as a result, people have been tossed together in the newly amalgamated companies, which have radically different beliefs and values as well as different ideas about the behaviors needed to achieve future success�.Managerial initiatives will fail or, more likely, bumble along, not because they were poorly conceived but their implementation will be hampered by perceptual differences among fragmented groups of employees."
�While long-term corporate performance and productivity are likely the immediate consequences of a long accumulation of short-term management thinking, employee disaffection is likely its most permanent legacy�.People will still work to earn a living, or course. The self actualization that once came from work will be missing, however. Instead of going to work to join in spirit with the doings of a great enterprise, workers will rush home to family, friends, communities and activities outside of work where their individual search for meaning will continue unabated. In due course, their disdain for life at work except as a necessary means to an end will manifest itself in a deterioration in the environment within which business hopes to thrive and a change in climate that few businesspeople today will have experienced.
�Work without soul is spirit-destroying. Business without committed people is doomed to mediocrity�This is the legacy shareholder value thinking and the short-termism it spawned have left for future generations. None of these consequences of shareholder-value-driven thinking is exactly a recipe for building strong and cohesive cultures.�
Okay, time to go. I�m working on how to convince higher rungs on the ladder that our Six Sigma projects are providing benefits substantially in excess of the projects we would have done without the program. It feels like a soulless exercise, but Stav assures me the future of the company depends on my spin.
Ya youre rite. Midland saw some mangmnt SHOCK AND AWE!!!!!!! But they dont leern ether!!!!!JEEZUS!!!!!!Right in Mommys lap and they dont get it!!!!!!!Cow aching was complanin bout Bound bRook, but what thes storie on Midland, huh???? Whats going on there????? Why there????JEEZUS!!!!!!!
Hey cow aching,
They fed ya , but did ya have to EAT IT!!!!!!!!!!JEEZUS!!!!!!!Even the rite idee can be implemented the wrong way!!!!!MaMaMia!!!!!! wheres the problem?????Wheres the problem?????? well Ol Rocket doent think the company values connect with how we see things done. (Whatd he say?????) Well, take integrity and then look at budget preperation. Take rispect for poeple or unity and then talk to the boys who did the Freport shuflle. Take agility and well... they do got Ol Rocket!!!!!!!PSS Ol Rocket noes lots of animals but never did hear of a fecal rooster before. Must have somethin to do with youre greener pastures, huh?
Most folks, like furry, started off liking Dow, because the line they fed us was what we wanted to hear. Only over time has it become clear how inbred and internally focused Dow really is. Over the last two years the general population has praised Dow for cleaning up various UCC eyesores, only to watch in horror as they then plead poverty and terminated more folks. They can afford to close buildings and build new ones, projects with clear PR values and ten-year paybacks at best, but they can't find meaningful work for the remaining UCC employees who are dedicated and capable `of twice the productivity of their Dow counterparts. The conventional wisdom has shifted from "Dow looks good" to "Dow is here to make Carbide look good". And do they ever.
When Dow came in we met many examples of high ranking managers and scientists who proudly trumpeted that they had been turned down for jobs at UCC when they got out of school. You are seeing the results of that type of hiring philosophy. Continuous palace politics with no concept of being productive and getting work done.
Dow's poor performance has nothing to do with the merger. They are being hammered by their European competition, probably in retaliation for their foray into East Germany. But you can see Dow's substance and ethic in the continuous babble about how UCC is dragging Dow down, about how natural gas is too high, etc etc.
The bloom is off the rose. Former UCC employees are now the disappointed pawns in the constant internal Dow battle to maintain appearances. I have seen many sincere, creative and better solutions and suggestions from UCC people swept aside in the torrent of DOWthink. Shoot first, ask questions later.
Mark these words: Dow will only be in the KV long enough to avoid getting on Byrd, Rockefeller and Wise's fecal roster. Everything they are doing now is directed at getting out. The new site director, Alan Fowler? He's the one who marched into Bound Brook on Day One to announce that the site would be closed in two years. After hundreds left Bound Brook for greener pastures, its still open. And we now have Alan. Good luck to all.
Thanks for the input and sorry for the words in the past. I am at that moment in time where I am thinking layoffs are looming and I am already weary of the place to be honest. I am debating within myself whether it is worth the research you suggest or go to a company that is progressive and has a better future. Now I sound like a Dow basher. Not really, just trying to measure whether it is a place to finish my career or not. Some things have happened in the last 48 hours that lead me to believe that we are going to see staff reductions and I may be affected. I am not sure I care since the effort I have made seems wasted. I feel deflated since my observations all point to satff reductions due to money squeeze, etc.
When I spoke with you earlier I really meant what I said when I wanted to be positive, but after experiencing "planted seeds" from leaders that resource roles and lives are about to change (and not for the better) I have changed my tune. It is humbling, but more importantly it is an opportunity to move on if need be.
Such is life.
How precious, how precocious. Where oh where would we be without you and hillbilly?
"You are working for a sick corporation and diagnosing the disease(s) is the first step to finding a cure."
Naturally, you've alerted the BOD to read the Yahoo! message board to receive insights and instructions.
<Why would a person who hates Dow hang around the Dow Chat Line? Answer: He has no friends and doesn't know how to get along with people. Like I said, you've got to go. So go.>
Let's get it straight. According to you, anyone who sees problems with Dow automatically hates Dow.
There was a day when folks who saw problems and made suggestions to fix them were valued.
Now you and your emperial ilk walk around naked telling each other how fine your clothes are. If TNR, Hillbilly, Slow and the rest of us go away you will still be walking around with your little weenie hanging out.
You would do well to stop ordering folks around and start listening. You are working for a sick corporation and diagnosing the disease(s) is the first step to finding a cure.
Hey, I was just having fun with you. Alittle graphic. Just trying to be helpful.
Seriously, the experienced people at a company and the company's retiree's are a tremendous resource for you. They can really help. You just have to realize that it will likely not be always pleasant.
How about another approach? How about this?
Look at your existing businesses at your site. Find one that is interesting to you, e.g., resins, spec chem, whatever. Go to the Dow library and look up the reports on it. (Not all are openly available to you, but most should be.) Perhaps also look up the SRI Industry Surveys for that commercial area.
Once you have some of the concepts and lingo in place, get a few personal contacts in that plant. This is one of the truly unique characteristics of Dow, in that it is an organizationally flat company. You can call up just about anyone, anywhere in the world and talk with them. You might try the TS&D support contact, and ask him or her who might be a personable assistant superintendent at the plant, or a technical contact in r&d. Make an appointment to talk with them, perhaps around their coffee break time. Get a plant tour.
On the tour, sense out who the contextually aware people are at the plant or development area. You can feel it, if you make eye contact and are pleasant. On some later occassion, get a chance to talk with them further. (Come back at coffee break time the next day, saying that you may have left a folder there. Any excuse will do.)
After pleasantly reintroducing yourself, listen to their version of how that product got started. Listen for names, and who did what. Etc. Does it make sense? Compare this with the Dow reports that you read.
When you are done with this, you will have a deeper understanding of the origin of your paycheck. You may also see just now nonlinear the R&D and product development process is. And you will likely see the names of people who you currently think very little of, and how they made vital contributions to the company. They worked awfully hard to get those plants up and running. Very little of it involved modern management techniques, HR, etc.
One more suggestion, check out reports by Robert Heitz, Bud Rubens, and Howard Johnson. Those are the ones that jump to mind. If they have any speeches by Heitz, check those out too.
Also, if you can find a copy of Frank Valle-Relestra's book "Process Economics" in the Dow library, give that a good work over. He worked at Dow and taught at Berkeley in this area. If you really want something to do, get through that long problem at the end of chapter 9.
Anyway, I wish you luck. Like the rocket says, gotta go.