Did executives “do the right thing”?

As the economy improves, they may need to prove themselves.

Mike Neiss of TomPeters.com has observed that he’s hearing “a much more positive message” from client companies, in that “we’ve turned the corner” or “the worst is behind us.” That’s the good news.

But then he asks, “did the strategies put in place to deal with the economic downturn make [your company] more capable of producing excellence in the future?

That’s probably not such good news for companies that have let go a tremendous amount of talent.

One result that he foresees:

[E]xecutives may have to prove their competence to the workforce—who paid some prices in the downturn. Many executives have been using the “economy” as the reason for poor performance, but my coffee chats with their employees lead me to believe that the rank and file aren’t totally buying that. It is important that the road forward is seen as doable by the employees in an organization, and that these workers believe that the current executive team can lead them to success.

On the other hand, it creates new opportunities for some of us who are now “out there.”