Sunday, October 19, 2008

Don't downsize the innovators

Bob Sutton has a great post about downsizing. Do you layoff employees, and if so, who goes? Or do you hang on and, since they aren't as busy, have the employees do more professional development in anticipation of an upturn? He also restates the common HR caution about not just hiring people who are like you, and especially, don't lay off the innovators
A downturn can be an opportunity to get rid of incompetent people and, of course, destructive assholes. But beware of the evils of using layoffs as a reason to expel everyone in your organization who does not act, think, and look like everyone else -- beware that most of us are prone to hold an overly narrow image of a "good employee." As I show in Weird Ideas that Work, since we human-beings have powerful and positive emotional reactions to people who are "just like us," and equally powerful negative reactions to people who are "different," the hiring process in most organizations acts to "bring in the clones."
Anyway, maybe it's not innovative, but I though the new PC-Mac "bean counter" ad was pretty good, but probably not a impressive as Hodgman's singing in a previous ad.