Archive for December, 2012

PBS-TV’s “Making Sen$e” Revisits the Bonuses and No-Layoffs

Friday, December 28th, 2012

I shared the 2012 results with Paul Solman, who over the past 20 years has done two excellent programs on Lincoln Electric for PBS Television’s Nightly New Hour.

Paul looked back at his 2011 documentary and also posted my comments about Lincoln, Marvin Windows and the New York Times: “Yes to Profit Making, No to Layoffs for 64 Years In A Row.

Shocking Lack of Imagination, Bonuses and the New York Times

Thursday, December 27th, 2012 (popular US investing website) asked me to write a piece on Lincoln Electric’s 2012 bonus and no-layoff stats – with attitude! Writing just before Christmas, I tapped into my inner-Scrooge:  “A Shocking and Shameful Lack of Imagination.” – delivered with attitude, as ordered.

Meanwhile, the New York Times ran a piece on Dec. 21st titled: “No-Layoff Company Now Writes Profit Sharing Checks.”

I chuckled when I read the story about Marvin Windows (an excellent company, good employer, no question), revealing what the Times considers to be “impressive performance.” Have a look at a graphical comparison.

US Employees 2,573 2,900
Sales 2012 (apprx.) $ 1     Billion $ 3      Billion
Total Profit Shared $ 800 Thousand $ 99.3 Million
Average Employee Bonus $ 311 $ 33,915
Years Bonus Paid 1 of last 4 years 79   uninterrupted
No Lay-off Record 1960’s Since 1948 (possibly  1925)

Happy New Year


A U.K. Connection – Shared Disappointment About Layoffs

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

It may be a globalized world, but far too often, we don’t tap into the fountains of knowledge bubbling up far from our own shores.

It was a pleasure this week to come across the work of Diane Coyle, a British economist and consultant who has for some time been writing and speaking about the need for a rethink in the world of business education. ( Listen to an  interview with her on ) Diane has written a number of books in recent years about changing the conventional paradigms of economics which place an unrestrained pursuit of profit above all else. Have a look at some of her books and her vast experience in economics.

It’s a concern I share and wrote about in SPARK, particularly concerning the general indifference – and at times outright condescension – towards Lincoln Electric’s no-layoff policy that one finds all too often in MBA programs in North America.

I shared with Diane some comments about Lincoln’s recently-released 2012 bonus numbers (more about that in a post I’ll put up in a day or so) and the fact that Lincoln Electric’s CEO John Stropki has yet to hear from anyone at his level of the American business community asking “how do you do that?”

Diane posted her comments on that sad situation on her blog here.

A Harvard PhD, Diane is also a Trustee of the BBC and a former economics editor of The Independent.