This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 19, 2013

Corporate "Tours of Duty"

Spending a lifetime with one employer is a thing of the past. For most employees, corporate loyalty is dead. According to a recent article in the "Harvard Business Review", what has emerged to take its place is a "transactional, laissez-faire approach that serves neither party well".

What's needed is a new Employer-Employee Compact, built on temporary alliances and reciprocity---not unlike what Herman and Gioia outlined in their Corporation of the Future chapter in their bestselling business book, "Lean & Meaningful: a new Culture for Corporate America". In the book, the authors detail how individuals, employed as "free agents" will work with a company only as long as each party adds value to the other; then workers will leave and go work on contract elsewhere.

Apparently, the high-tech start-up community of Silicon Valley is leading the way. The provocative article by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh, implies that "companies that wish to be similarly agile and entrepreneurial can learn valuable lessons from [this] example.

The authors outline three easy steps companies may take to implement the new compact: (1) Hire "employees for explicit 'tours of duty'," (2) Encourage, "even subsidize, employees' efforts to build networks outside the organization", and (3) Establish "active alumni networks that will enable career-long relationships with employees after they've left the organization. Not to be overlooked is the company's investment in workers' employability.

In today's competitive environment, this kind of strategy can make a huge difference in helping the organization to hire the adaptable top talent who will support the company's success. One very important aspect of this strategy is "intrapreneurship"---encouraging workers to become more entrepreneurial within the organization.

Smart managers in Silicon Valley understand that encouraging intrapreneurship actually increases retention by helping managers rethink how they relate to talent within their organizations. Moreover, many managers have even come to understand that they can benefit from relationships with workers who do depart for other opportunities.

Embracing this type of contract with workers can help all organizations create more successful futures. However, adopting this way of working will require letting go of deeply held beliefs about retention and comprehending the value of putting individual growth temporarily ahead of organizational success.

© 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.