This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 9, 2000

Downsizing Will Continue

236 days until January 1, 2001

In spite of our strong economy, we haven't seen the end of downsizing. Corporations will continue to remove people from their payrolls for years, but for different reasons.

In the past decade, thousands of companies tightened their personnel budgets, reacting to escalating costs and difficult economic circumstances. The period from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s will be remembered with emotional pain by many families, as well as employers who agonized over the need to reduce overhead. Cutting all those positions was dramatically counter to corporate cultures, cultures that had nurtured relationships with workers in a rather paternalistic management environment.

The impact of the downsizings was striking, causing significant upheaval in the social fabric of employment. The cradle-to-grave relationship between employer and employee evaporated, leaving bewildered workers to wonder what happened. They'd done nothing wrong; why were they suddenly and unexpectedly out of work? These workers were victims of a tidal wave over which they had no control. And, worse, there was nothing they could do to reverse the situation. There was nowhere else to go-most prospective employers were also laying off their workers.

Then came the mid-1990s and economic growth-growth that came gradually, then surged into a boom economy. Life was much better now. There were plenty of jobs, plenty of business. The good times had returned.

The downsizing continued. But now the corporate motivation is different. Savvy employers, increasingly sensitive to their competitive environments, are working diligently to become considerably more agile and nimble, highly responsive to rapidly changing marketplace, supply, product development, and labor conditions. In a period of continual flux, success comes to those who can be very flexible and quick.

Now the downsizing is more surgical, more focused, than the mass layoffs of that earlier era. Today employers remove departments, job functions, and even divisions that aren't tightly aligned with their ever-evolving missions. They're reshaping, sculpting, applying appropriate strategies for today's operating conditions.

The workers? They're doing fine. In spite of losing one job, with our healthy economy they have more jobs-good jobs-waiting for them. Layoffs are now opportunities.

© 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.