I was reading an article by Robert X. Cringely today called Lean and Mean noting that IBM Global Services is laying off thousands of workers and possibly up to 150,000 in the US.
Go ahead and read the article. It makes me really glad that I work for a company that extols virtue and taking care of their people before making money. At ThoughtWorks, we don’t have this level of employee count, so I can’t say what would happen if we did.
We’re also trying to become more lean, but we are doing it in a different way. We’ve already adopted agile as core to the way we work a long time ago. This time, we’re applying lean to our processes and tools, not to our people. That’s the important point. When you treat your employees like family, you do things differently.
Hundreds of thousands is a big family and I’m sure that the execs at IBM GS don’t know the large majority of them. I guess that makes it easy to cast them aside in the name of pleasing Wall Street.