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The Counterintuitive Fact

February 12, 2014

It’s been a bad couple years in tech, with declining margins (and in many cases volume/revenue).  I said the other day that this would be a big issue if it flowed out of the larger companies to the smaller ones.  While we can’t tell yet, here’s an encouraging sign, courtesy of Dell, who started this latest run.

The first wave of Dell folk to volunteer to leap from the privately owned biz with a redundancy parachute, swept over parts of the organisation last week – and by all accounts the numbers exceeded management targets.

Or so say our sources close to the company, some of whom are now former Dell people that were only too happy to sign up for the redundo money.

The Voluntary Separation Programme kicked off last December when Dell opened the door for workers who did not share management’s “passion and enthusiasm” for the new era.

I’ve been “made redundant” a few times in my relatively long career.  In some cases, I got to stay behind in orgs that were otherwise decimated.  And here’s a fun fact: the people that leave generally have it better than the people that have to stay.  By some speculations, Dell was hoping for about 7% of the people to take the package, and the number was larger than that.  That has to be a little depressing for the people who stayed, who now wonder what they’ve missed.

One other point… The people that left are likely to flow into the business community in the cities around them.  My company is one of the largest employers in quite a few cities.  When I lived in Portland, I had multiple people comment to me that when we did a reduction, the general IQ of the business community went up significantly.  Per my last post on this, that bodes well for the smaller businesses, as long as they’re not afraid to expand at this time.

So sometimes, a little discouragement can be encouraging.  Let’s see if that’s true here.

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