Great Minds Think Alike – Not!

If it were true that great minds think alike, we would not have light bulbs in our homes, indoor plumbing, or any of our other modern conveniences. The fact is that great minds do not think alike, they think independently and without regard to what the masses are thinking.

Take for example the recent announcement by one of our largest banking institutions that they are going to cut over 5% of their workforce. This is not unlike the decisions made by many other corporate conglomerates, in fact, it is the same old one-quarter, incremental, shareholder profit statement outlook that has been tried by many other corporations for the past decade. Shareholders are disappointed with their returns, so the forward-thinking visionaries are demonstrating once again that they can only see as far ahead as the next quarterly report.

The answer to greater profits for a corporation does not lie in the reduction of the workforce responsible for making the profits, it lies in growth of sales, i.e., it lies in generating revenue, not in reducing expenses. My bet is that the recent announcement of personnel cuts will result in the re-hiring of people a year or so down the road at the cost of retraining, greater salaries to attract those that might actually be available, and an overall net loss. I cannot help but think that the CEO’s and executives that make such decisions get together at Camp Runamuck, practice their secret handshake, collectively decide the stupidest things to do, and then agree on who will move to which company next for a megamillion dollar compensation package so that none of them can be held accountable for the dumb decisions made.

These clowns are pulling down almost 400 times the average salary of the workers in the companies they head, and the best they can come up with is to cut 10,000 jobs? Fundamental business tells us that to survive, thrive, and reap profits, a company must grow. If the problem is premature personnel growth and it necessitates a headcount reduction, who is to blame? From my perspective, when a headcount reduction of 10,000 people is required, at least ten of them should be the top executives in the company that hired all these people that are now not needed. Failure to remove these overpaid and incompetent executives is certain to lead to even more incompetent decisions that cost jobs,profits, and shareholder returns. Why would any company allow its top executive to mandate the cut of 10,000 jobs without questioning his/her decisions, both current and past; it is obvious that the credibility of their leadership/visionary/competency abilities is questionable, so if this is true, what must they do before they are held accountable?