Category: Oswald Letter

Dan Oswald, CEO of Simplify Compliance, writes about management, leadership, and the workplace. Occasional guest articles are written by other leaders and C-Suite executives from BLR. 

Short-Term Gain for Long-Term Pain?

There has always been a lot of focus on quarterly earning reports, but given the current economic environment, this corporate ritual has come under even greater scrutiny. Everyone is trying to read the crystal ball and figure out what every little detail means. Sales are down 30% when compared to the same quarter but are […]

Print

Symbolism and the C-Suite: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

For the last decade, big companies and the people who run them have been some of the most despised and least trusted in America. In the 80s and 90s, “greed was good” as everyone benefited from a skyrocketing stock market. No one much cared what was going on in those big companies as long as the […]

Print

Protecting Your Greatest Assets During Tough Times

Yesterday I received an e-mail from an employee in our company that really got me thinking. Her e-mail was about one of the less talked about effects of tough economic times. Her note contemplated how layoffs, or even the hint of layoffs, can cause a company to lose the employees it most desperately wants to […]

Print

Leadership and Teamwork

I grew up playing sports and have often looked back at those experiences to gain perspective on how a group of individuals might work together for a common goal. As I reflect on what caused certain teams to excel while others failed, I repeatedly come back to the subject of leadership. I believe the difference […]

Print

A New Era in Business?

Those who know me best would not consider me a sentimental person. In fact, my wife would probably laugh out loud if someone suggested that I was indeed sentimental. But with my oldest graduating from high school in a couple of days, it has caused me to think about what work life might be like for […]

Print

Is Business Still Fun?

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend and colleague — more friend than colleague. We were discussing the economy, business, and some of the challenges we’re experiencing at our company. As we wrapped up our conversation and I headed for the door, he asked me, “Are you all right?” His question […]

Print

Truth or Consequences: Not So Much

Help me out here. Less than 48 hours ago, I wrote about the need for CEOs to earn back the trust of their employees and gave a few suggestions about how they might do that. This morning I turn on the television to find none other than Elliot Spitzer providing commentary on the current state […]

Print

Employee Trust: Going, Going, Gone!

Trust. Webster’s defines it as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; or one in which confidence is placed.” Based on this definition, how many of us would say that the average employee trusts senior management? Not many. In fact, research shows that less than half of all employees […]

Print

Careful What You Wish For: GM Management’s Payback to Obama and the UAW?

I read Tuesday that General Motors Corporation outlined a new plan that would give the U.S. government a controlling stake in the company. In addition, GM said it would use stock to pay off half of the amount it owes the United Auto Workers (UAW) to cover retiree benefits. I checked my calendar. It wasn’t […]

Print

Dazed and Confused in an ‘Uncertain Economy’

I’m in the process of writing my Q1 report for our board of directors and I’m trying to come up with the appropriate adjective to describe the current economic environment and explain its impact on our business. As I searched for the right adjective to describe the business climate we’re facing I first considered “challenging.” […]

Print