I think Ben's history of corporate change is right on. As previously
pointed out in the LO, employment in the US increased 160% or something
like that between the early 70s and the ealry 90s. It took a lot of work
to absorb all of those people.
In this environment, not everyone who is capable will be able to proceed
up the corporate ladder. Not enough positions. One consequence is that
some quite capable people are further down in the hierarchy. Given this
level of competence scattered throughout the organizational levels,
flattening and distributing responsibility makes a lot of sense.
The way this has shown up is that while employment has increased by the
percentages mentioned, the population of middle managers is no smaller or
larger than it was 15 years ago. Thus, downsizing among middle managers
has not really occurred despite the news. Its growth has simply not kept
pace with expectations. this is part of Ben's point.
Excellent insights, Ben.
Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>