Why America's Goliath Companies are Collapsing

Share Article

Corporate empires are crumbling because consumers, investors, and employees have had enough of inept management, says global trends forecaster and big-business escapee Babs Ryan in the new biz book "America's Corporate Brain Drain."

The crumbling of America's largest corporations is because the best people no longer work in Goliath companies, reports former GE and Citibank senior executive Babs Ryan.

In her new business book "America's Corporate Brain Drain" (Sparks Worldwide, August 2008, ISBN 9780981494708, hardcover, braindrain.BIZ), big-business escapee Ryan predicts that the decay will continue until layers of incompetent senior managers, who caused the economic crisis, are "sacked en masse minus golden parachutes." The book also recommends a solution to replacing subpar management.

"America's Corporate Brain Drain" points to a Bain & Co. study of successfully transformed corporations. The common element was that most of the top management were fired, resulting in a rapid 250 percent per year average stock price increase. Ryan says, "Taxpayers are wondering if bailing out these behemoths also means they are bailing out herds of high-paid, low-performing executives. Who decides if there are just a few token pink slips with checks attached, with most of the good ol' boys and gals returning to business-as-usual? The good ol' government?"

Employees, investors, and consumers are abandoning America's big companies. "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," says Ryan, who has traveled in 78 countries and worked abroad for 11 years.

From annoying phone menus to nickel-and-diming airlines, from gouging gas prices to "free" checking accounts that charge for checkbooks, big companies are disconnected.

Ryan says, "You would think that instead of making employees queue to attend courses on 'Dealing with Difficult People' that management would solve the problem by removing the few difficult people. You'd think that bank executives would launch better, unique financial products instead of more points programs and cross-selling promotions. You'd think that when CEOs know that 70 percent of callers try to escape phone menus by pressing '0' that companies would lower costs and customer dissatisfaction by having live operators pick up phones instead of disabling the zero-out function. Think again."

Why don't they? "Fast Company" refers to a John Hopkins University study that found 90 percent of bypass patients didn't alter their lifestyle habits even when faced with the choice of "change or die."

"Whether it's work or politics, most people SAY they want change. They don't," says Ryan. "Employees' ideas for new products or policies are blocked or attacked by coworkers and management. When the ideas are superlative, the change agent becomes the target. More than 80 percent of bullied workers, who tend to be the more innovative and productive employees, leave. Guess what the company is left with. Guess how big business got into this mess."

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 laid off--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 against lousy service and me-too products by posting complaints online, selling stock, choosing foreign products, and by circumventing American big companies, e.g., peer-to-peer lending. Employees get even by quitting, then snitching on glassdoor.com or vault.com. Ryan predicts the exodus of the best and brightest will escalate and that more behemoth companies will fail. "Unfortunately, as fear escalates in a yo-yo economy, 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 business superstars, the best products, and probably the best investments."

Review of "America's Corporate Brain Drain" by Midwest Book Review, August 2008
"'America's Corporate Brain Drain' is a look at the changing face of business and why it may be related to incompetent management of America's largest corporations. The masses of America, which used to support these massive businesses, are slowly losing faith in them and putting their faith elsewhere. An expose of the countless mistakes big business have made in recent years, 'America's Corporate Brain Drain' is highly recommended for those who don't want to follow suit with the stupidest mistakes."

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, and cautions how big businesses will continue to crumble as a result. "Brain Drain" offers solutions for consumers, big-business escapees, and employees of big companies. Witty, 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. "Brain Drain" is available in bookstores and at amazon.com. More information, reviews, photographs, and excerpts are available at braindrain.biz.

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, Eli Lilly, Ford Motor Co., J. Walter Thompson, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, and Western Union. The author is available for interviews and speaking engagements on how the brain drain caused the Wall Street crisis and how it can be prevented from happening again by ensuring that big companies are environments of innovation and competitive victory.

Contact: Rae Sparks
Sparks Worldwide LLC
312 505 5567
rae (at) sparksworldwide.com

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rae Sparks

Babs Ryan
Visit website