Turnarounds are risky, given that most fail; that's why so few companies from 100 or even 50 years ago are around today. If you, the employee, believes in corporate leadership, and leadership believes in the company, then leaders will demonstrate competency in the industry, cut their own income for the short term to assure loyalty and visibly work their butts off to turn the firm around. Even then, you might be better going to a firm that's clearly growing and has a more certain future.
When you get a situation like Symantec, on the other hand, where it looks like the CEO is implementing a process from a very different industry, cutting his responsibilities, making changes that will increase his compensation and executing layoffs, then you can bet he's playing the short game. That won't be good for your career. To my mind, the only thing that would make Symantec a worse place to work would be if the company implemented Jack Welch's forced ranking employee compensation process. This would pit remaining employees at each other's throats.
In the end, if you determine that the company you work for is becoming more hostile to your advancement and job satisfaction and less agile, then it's time to find a friendlier home.
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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