Management Turnover as Change Agent

Monday, February 2, 2009

Recommended Reading - Managing Along the Cutting Edge, Newsweek

Daniel Mcginn wrote a terrific piece in Newsweek entitled, Managing Along the Cutting Edge.  Mcginn focuses on the need for different skills for CEOs and other executives to succeed during the current recessionary times.  I have already focused on other articles examining this issue (e.g., recent FT Report on Managing in a Downturn).  McGinn writes,

It’s not just a sense of humanity that determines how well managers lead during recession. In good times, the best CEOs tend to be what recruiter Steve Mader of Korn/Ferry International calls “strategic creators”—people who excel at sifting among new ideas and placing bets on the likeliest winners. Managing in a down economy, in contrast, is mostly about taking bets off the table, a process that requires fewer big thoughts and more painstaking attention to detail. Which CEOs are up to the task? Mader says bosses like John Thain, who was revealed to have spent $1.2 million remodeling his Merrill Lynch office last year, epitomize a chief who seems ill suited for hard times. Sonnenfeld points to Carly Fiorina, who took over HP during the Asian financial crisis and then “flailed around, swatting at strategically inconsistent, splashy options,” like its 2001 merger with Compaq, as a CEO not equipped to deal with a recession.  

If you are an executive manager or an investor considering a company pressured by the recession you should read the piece. 

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