In this rat race, we all must work to take the mean out of lean (London Free Press)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's a change that has occurred over a couple of decades, something I noticed in the early 1990s when a boss returned from a corporate meeting.

"Lean and mean," he said of the changes coming in our company.

"Pardon?" I responded, startled by his emphasis on "mean," a word he seemed to spit out of his mouth between gritted teeth.

Times are changing and people around here better start working harder, or they'll have to get out of the way.

I understood the "lean" bit. From the first year I entered the newspaper business, downsizing was a reality, something I've faced almost every year since 1981.

And the downsizing did occur, although much of it achieved through buyout offers many older workers accepted. But there have been layoffs, too.

Notice I said "workers" and not "journalists." That's because workers in almost all sectors of our economy have or continue to face the threat of downsizing as new technology, especially computers, deliver efficiencies.

While it is always a stressful experience for a workplace, whether it is hard economic times or the realities of jobs becoming obsolete, I've always accepted the fact that for a company to remain strong and vibrant it requires a decent level of profit.

Read the full article at the London Free Press website.

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