National Disorder Crisis-Part I: The Anorexic Syndrome in Corporate America


National Disorder Crisis- A Three Part Series

  • Part I-The Anorexic Syndrome
  • Part II -Depletion of Creative Think  for Sake of Operational Leanness (how to have both)
  • Part III -The Healing Process- Solutions for a Healthier Nation

Part I: The Anorexic Syndrome in Corporate America

I propose our Nation’s Corporations are in a deepening state of Anorexic behavior when our Government seems at odds over their overweight crisis.

When our government looks in the mirror what do they see?  I believe they believe they are Anorexic. When we look at them…. many Americans are seeing a very heavy government in need of a good healthy diet plan.  We speak of overweight crisis … maybe it starts here?

On the other hand, when the nation’s companies look in this same mirror what do they see?  Do we see the same image they see in the mirror?  Do they see fat when you see bones?

Encouraging growth through US companies may be a failed strategy for job recovery and revenue generation (the new words for TAX INCREASES) unless we help cure a well known very difficult disease that has us by our psyches’.

For more than a decade companies have been downsizing, rightsizing, off-shoring, cutting costs, accumulating money in foreign bank accounts, cutting people and becoming operationally lean to their near death.  All of this is said to improve the bottom line; “We are sleek, nimble… not a fat cell on our bodies”.   For more than 10 years workforces have been on the decline, even our top executives are being outsourced and contracted or are part-timers.  Young companies are growing. It truly seems we’ve experienced, at minimum, one lost decade.

Yet when talking to many companies there continues to be talks of continued cuts and more fat-cutting behaviors.  We feel fat… really! We feel fat?  The need to purge is addicting! Our thin dwindling existence in the mirror looks like a 300 lb overweight body.

The fat is the employees who feel lucky enough to keep their jobs! They think they are safe… not really.  More than 74% of the working population is unhappy with their work and most are doing the work of 2 maybe three missing roles in their company due to cuts. In some instances whole departments are missing.  We give new ideas 60 days to work and want the same people already managing 2 or 3 different full time roles to make sure it works. No failure is tolerated.  VC’s need their returns, investors are short minded and act in three year or less chunks.  The new long-term is 90 days in this country.  We must STOP this insanity!  And we WONDER WHY we are not selling anything; then we fire all the sales and marketing people because they were not successful (they make us fat and take too long to make things happen).

We are working in extreme anorexic conditions in so many cases.  But the scale says we are thin! We look good right?

The bottom line looks great to the finance heads and to Wall Street.  We feel totally in control of our appetites and are in total control of our expense. We could even cut more and we’ll feel very proud of how much we’ve turnaround this organization cutting all the fat possible out. Are you down to the bone? Are we feeding on our own muscles?  How do you know?

It is very possible that our egos are feeding on this false sense of cost control much like food control for anorexic patients.

So let’s do a comparison!

  • From Health News:  “The fact is people with anorexia are still hungry – though they may not admit it even to themselves. Instead they have managed to conquer their appetite through tremendous will power and control. At first this sense of being in control is intoxicating – but later on sufferers begin to realize that in fact somewhere they have lost control because the fears and anxieties linked with the illness have become so powerful.”
  •  Someone struggling with anorexia restricts what they eat dramatically, in an attempt to lose weight. It may start as a ‘normal’ diet, but then becomes something much more serious. Sufferers lose a lot of weight, and often become dangerously thin – but they are unable to see just how thin they are and often still feel convinced that they are fat and need to lose more weight. They also feel terrified of putting on weight, and continue to eat very little because of a terrible fear of putting on weight.
  •  “They feel convinced that if they were to eat normally like those around them, they would put on weight very quickly and end up overweight.”

There are a lot of signals that indicate we’ve been in corporate anorexia, very similar to that of human anorexia.  Some may say our nation’s leaders are the source of the emotional imbalance, as they look very fat to us and we do not want to be fat. Some may say greed is the source: executives or individuals who have been living fat at the top but bone thin elsewhere.

Regardless of the reasons, we must change and, consequently, that change to a healthier state, like curing the disease, will not be easy.


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