a new crisis in Corporate America. It has nothing do with Enron, ethics
or Sarbanes Oxley. The real problem is the dwindling supply of CEO and
C-Level talent. In May, CEO departures within U.S. companies hit a
record high of 148 executives, according to Challenger, Gray &
Christmas. "In five years, 50% of all C-Level executives will retire,"
says Paul Reilly, CEO of Korn/Ferry International.
What`s causing such attrition? Wall
Street pressure for results with no hiccups doesn`t help. Neither do
boards who seem fixated on finding heroic hired guns. Meanwhile, the
pool of talent is dwindling as baby boomers retire and many
corporations fail to properly invest in their high-potential talent.
Who will step up and fill the growing void?"
Cool recommendation, Bert :-)
What interests me is that this is the kind of "problem" (not a crisis)
that`s directly a philosophic one. For over 75 years, business people
have routinely dismissed philosophy as being meaningless to the "real
world." I understand that, given the utter blather coming from
Institoots of Hire Learning.
The problem is that decades of students have come out of these
institoots with a deep--almost subliminal---belief that there`s no such
thing as reality, that everyone`s opinion is equally valid, that human
action has nothing to do with events and consquences, and that by
changing a word we magically change all of reality.
This whole issue was well-covered by Ayn Rand, wayyyyy back in the 60s,
when she released "Atlas Shrugged." Read that book today, and you might
think it was written last week! "The Peter Principle" also came out
around that time, discussing how people are promoted to their level of
In Atlas Shrugged, the competent people---the leaders---all go to a
hidden community in the Rocky Mountains and leave the rest of the world
to collapse. In the real world, those leaders are leaving to enter the
cottage industry. That`s the world of entrepreneurs, startups, and
individually managed companies.
I believe there are very deep cracks appearing in the foundation of the
so-called corporate model. There`s nothing wrong with corporations as
such, but rather with today`s mega-corporations. Enron, Worldcom, and
even California, are just the tip of the iceberg. There isn`t any
Perhaps the better question would be to ask whether or not it`s a
*good* thing that the leaders of corporate America are quitting and
vanishing. Personally, I think it is.
Competence, foresight, analysis, inspired and innovative thinking; all
these are considered an utter waste of time in most large corporations.
They`re considered as going against the "team," being a "loose cannon,"
or being maverick. New ideas are routinely shut down, efficiency is
frowned on, and operational profits are the only worthwile pursuit.
Anyone with a mind would quit immediately!