An Easier Climb Up the
If you're an executive looking for a job, you
shouldn't have too much trouble finding one. The
Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), New
York, NY, a professional association promoting the
highest professional standards in executive search
consulting, reports an all-time high in the number of
search assignments for their first reporting period of
The search is on as companies recognize the need
for executives who can make the difference between
companies' success or failure-and it could get ugly. "The
gloves are off in the war for talent, and retained
executive search is core to the mission," says Peter
Felix, AESC president. Says AESC member Michael Brenner,
"The growth (of the Internet economy) is a reflection
that every company is mounting an e-commerce effort so as
not to be at a competitive disadvantage."
AESC reports a 20 percent increase in executive
search activity since last quarter. Specifically,
searches for CEOs have risen 15 percent since last
quarter; searches for COOs have risen 56 percent; and
searches for CIO/Knowledge officers have risen 71
percent. Brenner expects the explosive growth to continue
for at least the next two to three years.
Give Me a Break
A new politically correct term is becoming more
and more familiar to a growing number of professionals:
recreationally challenged. It describes those workers
whose bodies are on vacation, but whose minds are still
back at the office.
These days, many employees complain about bosses
keeping them tied to the office via laptops, pagers and
cell phones. But some workers have chosen to wire
themselves to the office, even when they're supposed to
be on vacation.
If you have trouble disconnecting from work,
you're definitely not alone. In her book "Working at
Play: A History of Vacations in the U.S." (Oxford
University Press, 1999), Cindy Aron reveals that
Americans have struggled with relaxing for centuries. If
you need convincing of that, consider this: According to
Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill., U.S. corporations
tend to grant far less vacation time than 17 other
developed nations. It's no big surprise, then, that many
Americans have to re-learn how to relax each time they
take a vacation. It requires a determined effort to
exchange laptops and cell phones for swimsuits and beach
In the fierce competition to attain funding from
venture capitalists, it appears that female entrepreneurs
may lack the necessary skills. According to an article in
the Wall Street Journal, the National Foundation for
Women Business Owners states the first step in solving
this problem is learning how to play the game.
The problem may result from women's hesitance to appear
"as boastful and bald-faced about their business as men,"
says Kay Koplovitz, chairwoman of the National Women's
Now there is a place where these entrepreneurs can
go to sharpen their skills before proposing their ideas.
At Springboard 2000, a "camp" for women starting up
businesses, they spend days honing their skills before
pitching their ventures to equity investors.
Women receive advice on a variety of subjects.
They deal with everything from aesthetic topics to
preferred presentation information. The day before they
encounter actual investors, women participate in one day
of presenting their ideas to volunteer venture
capitalists who provide critiques of the
Do Your Own
With the increased intensity of the business world
today, many employers have actively begun searching out
ways to reduce stress, without reducing their quality of
business. For example, S.C. Johnson found many workers
felt they had devoted too much valuable work time to
meeting with colleagues. With this discovery, the company
decided that twice a month the company would have
"No-Meeting Fridays." With this decision, not only did
time for accomplishing individual tasks free up, but the
amount of work taken home by employees decreased.
According to the Wall Street Journal, situations
such as these have become more common. After the
instillation of this policy, employees reported an
increase in productivity and a decrease in the amount of
time spent working at home on the weekend. As managers
continue to notice an increase in stress levels, they
have begun to find more inventive ways to relieve the
From ordering employees to delay coming in until
noon on Wednesdays, to instructing all team members to
devote one half-day to simply thinking about the
business, companies have begun realizing the importance
of variety in scheduling.
August 2000 NFC