Up & Down the Street
Remember The War for Talent? That was the name of a 1997 article and popular 2001 book written by the good people at McKinsey & Company, the publication of that set off a worldwide craze over a raft of flimsy “talent management” ideas. One of the most prominent: To win in business, companies had to promote their most “talented” people aggressively while culling their ranks of the least “talented” with similar urgency. What makes for a “talented” employee? Hell if I know. But I do know this: Like most wars, it was not only destructive but also wrong-headed. The War for Talent was a War on Common Sense.
Up & Down the Street
When fast-food workers walked off the job in several U.S. cities a few weeks ago, it was like a blast from the past. For one day, at least, American labor was flexing organizing muscles that have largely atrophied over the past few decades. And the prognosis has only been getting worse: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation in December limiting the power of unions in a state that once served as a symbol of union might, starting the countdown clock to the end of unions everywhere. The fight over Detroit’s financial future is a further sign of things to come: with municipal and state finances still a mess nationwide, even the liberally inclined but nonunion man on the street has begun to turn on his organized labor neighbors as the fight over which matters more—government employee pensions or basic city services—moves from the theoretical into the very real.
At least someone is doing well in the cratering media landscape. Forbes reported late Friday that McKinsey & Company–the surprisingly young, “kind of hot” consultants who recently cut a swath through Conde Nast–are headed over to The Wall Street Journal, and then on to the rest of Dow Jones. Forbes Read More
Just eight years after Si Newhouse spent tens of millions to move Condé Nast into 4 Times Square, he was ready to move out.
In the first week of October 2007, Mr. Newhouse signed a deal with the real estate developer Douglas Durst to build a new tower for his company over a Read More
The 180 bodies lost this week at Condé Nast, in the wake of the execution of Gourmet, Cookie and two bridal magazines, comprise the greater part of the damage that we’re going to see out of 4 Times Square, CEO Chuck Townsend told The Observer.
“This was the big news,” said Mr. Townsend. Read More
When Condé Nast chief executive Chuck Townsend announced the deaths of Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, he gave hope to readers and staffers alike that some semblance of the magazines might live online. The changes will “enable us to pursue new ventures,” he wrote in his internal memo. “In the coming weeks, we Read More
While Conde Nast begins to grapple with the recommendation of those surprisingly stylish McKinsey staffers, A.I.G. is throwing them out.
McKinsey was preparing a plan for the financial giant that was titled, rather cryptically, “Project Destiny,” but the company’s C.E.O., Robert Benmosche, decided that the company has too many advisers already.
“I Read More
Now that those McKinsey-branded packets have been given to nearly every publisher and editor at Condé Nast, when will the inevitable layoffs begin?
It depends on who your boss is.
“The general consensus is, ‘Let’s get it over with,’” said an editorial-side staffer who will have to draw up pink slips at one Read More
After a summer of mad speculation at 4 Times Square, Condé Nast editors and publishers are beginning to finally learn what life is going to be like in a post-McKinsey world. In the last few days, Condé Nast executives armed with McKinsey-branded binders have started to deliver budget targets for 2010 to editors and publishers. Read More
Over the next week, Condé Nast execs will begin meeting with editors and publishers at 4 Times Square and handing them their 2010 budget targets. It won’t be pretty. McKinsey consultants are expected to be present for these meetings, said
one well-placed source.
Either way, the summer of guessing games for publishers and