Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Star Tribune, Part II 

As a retired marketing manager and CPA, I have the following observations about the cutbacks at the Minneapolis Star Tribume (Strib) via Powerline.

Years ago, I attended a meeting with a very high ranking IBM executive who made the following comment (paraphrased), "Lea Iacoca supposedly said, 'Don't let accountants control a company in trouble.'" We need accountants for their skill and oversight talents but by definition many tend to be risk averse. Their solution to a problem often is to decrease costs instead of examining and adjusting product.

When a company is in trouble, cutting costs may need to be done but when the company eliminates or reassigns major assets, the problem is rarely solved. Employees left will wonder, "Who's next? When will the other shoe fall?" If there are not major contributions (i.e. pay cuts) at the top and product is not seriously reevaluated, morale, revenues, and results will continue to tumble.

To recover, an enterprise must talk to people who no longer buy their product and ask them what it would take to regain them as a customer.

As I said yesterday, I still prefer a paper over a screen with my tea/coffee.