In the shadow of the Twitter disaster: How to prep for layoffs

Disclosure: Dell is a client of the author.

There is an increasing chance many of us will experience layoffs shortly — and last week’s Twitter job-cuts disaster is a rolling showcase of how not to do one.

Let’s look at the Twitter acquisition and layoff trainwreck and how you can assure the groups you’re in (or who report to you) remain viable in the face of job cuts or a corporate acquisition. 

The Twitter vs. Dell process

Dell has the best acquisition process on the planet. What makes it so good is this: Dell does a lot of due diligence and planning at the front end and accepts the related risk of having to sideline executives for up to a year if the acquisition doesn’t go through. This measures the risk of losing the productivity of a handful of people against losing the productivity of the entire acquired unit. So far, every Dell acquisition I’ve tracked has not only been successful, but the acquired company outperformed its previous status. (This last is very unusual; most acquisitions fail to meet expectations.)

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