New Work Order

Heightened competition, globalization, outsourcing, and technological advancements are among a host of growing management challenges for which old business school theories and best practices solutions just don’t suffice, asserts Ather Williams III, managing director, Global Head of Strategy and Business Development for Treasury and Securities Services at New York-based J.P. Morgan Chase.

Williams says The Future of Management by Gary Hamel (Harvard Business School Press; $26.95) is a must-have blueprint for overhauling outdated management paradigms and constructing relevant ways to organize, mobilize, problem-solve, and optimize in this new epoch of business.
To topple conventional dogma and erect a progressive leadership model that can sustain a competitive advantage, Williams recommends implementing the following strategies from the book:

Solve systemic problems by understanding their systemic roots. Uncover and address underlying or organizational issues-history, culture, incentive plan, etc.-that drive faulty behavior.

Supplement existing management processes rather than supplant them. Don’t scrap a flawed program. It might be easier on the staff to implement new processes alongside traditional methods to learn from obvious incongruities and to identify gaps and redundancies effectively. Transitioning is easier than replacing.

Commit to revolutionary goals, but take evolutionary steps. Strive for significant, measurable improvements incrementally. Build slowly on successes to allow for necessary course correction when setbacks occur.

Downsizings, layoffs, and closings are a permanent part of the employment landscape.

“Few employees will go their entire career without experiencing unemployment as a result of harsh economic realities,” says Leonard Posey, managing director of Lee Hecht Harrison, a global career management firm. “With some period of unemployment being almost certain, career-transition assistance is a critical benefit.”

According to a survey by Philadelphia-based Right Management, 75% of responding employees said it would be important for their next employer to provide outplacement services if they were needed.

Posey insists that while employees with career-transition assistance may be out of work, they’re not out of luck. He offers these tips for using career-transition services effectively:

Insist on having the benefit. Confirm that outplacement services are provided as part of your severance package. If they are not included, try to renegotiate your package.

Research the outplacement firm. Review the firm’s Websites, brochures, and other informational materials. Inquire about the firm’s expertise-its industry connections, global presence, entrepreneurial advice, etc.-germane to your career aspirations. Talk with others who have used its services. Make use of all the resources. Attend the orientation and other on-site activities. Meet regularly with the counselor.

Avail yourself of the online tools and capabilities. Connect with the outplacement firm’s other clients, current and past, to maximize your networking opportunities.