This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 31, 2008

Navigating the Next Year

A recent study by the well-respected organization The Corporate Executive Board offers some sage advice for corporate leaders about how to successfully navigate the next year.

Speaking on MSNBC, Tom Monahan, Chairman and CEO of this unique peer-to-peer network, shared the results of their recent research. When asked which issues would be most challenging in 2009, 30 percent of the corporate leaders who responded answered "protecting growth initiatives", 24 percent said "making critical talent plays", 21 percent answered "exploiting risk opportunities", and 17 percent replied "improving cost discipline".

Overall, the suggested strategies highlight the need for leaders to change in five key areas. First, the report directs executives to "focus on product and services [expenditures] in their cost-cutting process, not just overhead cost, because that is where long-term competitive advantage lies".

Second, leaders must be vigilant to "protect growth initiatives ". This strategy involves identifying and sheltering growth opportunities in the capital budget. In addition, the report suggests they integrate concrete innovation targets into performance expectations and reporting, even while belt-tightening".

Third, leverage financial strengths. Foster innovations that target the shifting financial strengths of customers and suppliers.

Fourth, "exploit risk opportunities: embrace, don’t eradicate, "the right" risk exposures".

Finally, and in our view most importantly, now is the time to "make critical talent plays", "to court and cultivate tomorrow’s winners". Take the opportunity to close critical skill gaps with less-occupied talent. Reward outstanding performance. "Use the economic crisis to sharpen the acumen of future executives." "Embrace offshore centers as a source for critical skills and next-generation executive leadership, not just low-cost execution."

The study also found that one in four top, high-performing employees expects to leave in next 12 months, up from one in 10 last year. Wise employers will use this downtime to re-engage employees with "stay interviews", re-orientation, and special projects. This re-engagement will also reduce the five percent productivity loss that translates into about $100 Million in lost operating cash flow for the average company. Monahan closed his interview with an astute observation: "Companies playing offense on talent have a remarkable opportunity right now."

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home · About · Products · Resources · Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.