Work in Progress: Know Nothings

Want to improve results? Tell your workers what's going on, pleads a top consultant

When a slowdown in the economy looms, the instinctive reaction of far too many people is fear. Managers fear that expenses are too high and cut costs and jobs. Employees fear the ax. The result is tunnel vision: What matters is my job, my department. Kicking into survivor mode makes it tough for employees to think about the big picture.

Yet big-picture thinking can lead to actions that will help a company survive, even prosper, when the economy is in the doldrums. Unfortunately, few companies know how to refocus to take advantage of this opportunity. Instead, a knowledge vacuum occurs, because...

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