Strategic Resolutions for 2016

The global economic turmoil that began in 2008 has taught numerous lessons—the most important one: When leaders make good decisions, little else matters. When they refuse to make decisions or show a pattern of making bad ones, nothing else matters. Corporate leaders should hear this as a clarion call that awakened us all to the fact that we can no longer afford the short-sighted luxury of considering decision-making a passive, pristine process. It’s not. It’s messy. Facing harsh realities is the first step, resolving to do better in the new year the second. Here are ideas for making that happen:

1. Don’t pay underperforming employees handsomely to leave your organization. Use the funds to attract top talent to replace them.

At some point, senior leaders developed the misguided notion that they have to pay to terminate employees. Laws vary on termination, but one thing seems clear: most companies have gone too far in their efforts to avoid lawsuits. In addition to costing dearly, these practices send the message that bad performance will be rewarded. If research and development or technology drive your organization, you’ll be at risk for this phenomenon than other kinds of organizations.

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About the Author

Dr. Linda Henman, the catalyst for virtuoso organizations, is the author of Landing in the Executive Chair, among other works. She is an expert on setting strategy, planning succession, and developing talent. For more than 30 years she has helped executives and boards in Fortune 500 Companies and privately-held organizations dramatically grow their businesses. She was one of eight succession planning experts who worked directly with John Tyson after his company’s acquisition of International Beef Products. Some of her other clients include Emerson Electric, Avon, Kraft Foods, Edward Jones, and Boeing. She can be reached in St. Louis at

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