Best People No Longer Work in Big Companies

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Lousy service. Me-too products. That's what consumers are getting from Goliath companies because the best people no longer work there, argues global trends forecaster and big-business escapee Babs Ryan in the new biz book "America's Corporate Brain Drain."

America's Corporate Brain Drain.

"Press '1' to listen to five more voice menus. If this is an emergency, please hold forever for the next available operator…."

If you hate phone menus, you're not alone. When big companies saw data proving that up to 70 percent of callers tried to zero out (press "0") to reach a live operator, they did what you'd expect. Instead of getting live operators to answer the phones, they disabled the zero out function.

From nickel-and-diming airlines to gouging gas prices, from "free" checking accounts that charge for checkbooks to pointless point programs (50 percent of points are never redeemed), big companies are disconnected.

Big-business escapee Babs Ryan argues that the swell of me-too products and lousy service is because the best people no longer work in Goliath companies. After traveling in 78 countries and working abroad, the former GE, Citibank, Kawasaki, and ad agency senior executive concludes in her controversial business book "America's Corporate Brain Drain" (Sparks Worldwide, August 2008, ISBN 9780981494708, hardcover, $26.95, http://www.braindrain.biz), "We're moving forward with Toyota and connecting with Nokia because, in the U.S., the brightest sparks have either left big corporations or are planning their exit strategies. Big business has lost their minds."

Ryan, who develops products for multinational companies, points to frustration of corporate innovators whose ideas for product improvements are blocked by the anti-change brigade. She explains, "John Hopkins University found that 90 percent of bypass patients didn't change their lifestyle habits when faced with a life-or-death choice. So what's the chance that the Joe in the corner office is willing to support a colleague's better but unfamiliar product which might replace his own?"

Small businesses produce eight times more patents per employee, according to the Small Business Administration. Big-company employees are three times more likely to be bullied at work (35 percent).

The result? America's 27 million small-business owners didn't get the boot--89 percent of entrepreneurs quit their former positions. Boomers are negotiating for early retirement to start hobby jobs. Grads aren't willing to climb towering corporate ladders. Small companies have become havens where traitors are launching products that former employers sniffed at. And, of the employees still stuck in big companies, 70 percent are unhappy at their jobs.

Ryan says that consumers are fighting back by posting complaints on blogs and ripoffreport.com, and by circumventing big companies, e.g., peer-to-peer lending. Employees get even by quitting and snitching on glassdoor.com or vault.com. With job insecurity growing, Ryan predicts the exodus of the best and brightest will escalate. "Coworkers will get nastier in attacking ideas and their advocates. Small businesses and foreign competitors are the clear winners. That's where you'll find most of the business superstars and, therefore, the best products and services."

About Babs Ryan
Big-business escapee Babs Ryan has successfully boomeranged from senior leadership roles in Fortune 100 companies (GE Capital division head of new product development, Citibank VP of business development and P&L leader), chief marketing officer at motorcycle giant Kawasaki UK, and top directorships in blue chip advertising agencies to small-business owner with clients in 207 countries. Babs has seven U.S. patent applications. She has traveled in 78 countries and worked abroad for 11 years. She is founder and president of a Chicago-based enterprise that forecasts global consumer trends and translates them into multinational new products. She has worked with AT&T, Allergan (Botox Cosmetic), American Express, De Beers, Ford Motor Co., IBM, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, and Western Union. A witty, provocative, and dynamic speaker who gives audiences tools to change the world, Babs Ryan is the author of "America's Corporate Brain Drain."

About the Book
"America's Corporate Brain Drain" (Sparks Worldwide, August 2008, ISBN 9780981494708, hardcover, $26.95) reveals that the swell of lousy service and me-too products is because the best people no longer work in Goliath companies. Annoying phone menus, nickel-and-diming airlines, "free" checking accounts that charge for checkbooks, and pointless points programs prove that big business has lost its minds. Provocative executive escapee and globetrotter (78 countries) Babs Ryan weaves travel tales of China, Dubai, Cambodia, India, Iran, Japan, and England with facts to compare the way the world works with why America's behemoth corporations don't. Visit the Media Lobe at braindrain.biz for photographs, more information, and Chicago book launch event details. Brain Drain is available in bookstores and at amazon.com. More information is available at http://www.braindrain.biz.

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