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50:1

Every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks "mass layoffs." That's the term for more than 50 people losing their jobs at once. In August of this year, the total number of people hit by a mass layoff was 127,944. The number has been more than 100,000 every month except for one in the last decade.

And that doesn't count small companies, smaller lay offs, non-profits and other ventures that don't show up on the radar. The actual number has to be at least ten times as big--at least a million a month is my guess .

Compare that to the tiny number of people who get fired for attempting to do something great.

Sure, Carly got fired. But thousands at HP got laid off. She lost her job for challenging the status quo. They got canned for embracing it.

Sure, that crazy copywriter on the 11th floor got fired for attempting a viral blog-based campaign that backfired, but it's nothing compared to the entire department that lost their jobs because there just wasn't enough business.

At least once a day, I get mail from people worrying that if they are too remarkable, too edgy, too willing to cause change and growth... they're risking getting fired. I almost never get mail from people who figure that if they keep doing the same boring thing day in and day out at their fading company that they're going to lose their jobs in a layoff.

50 ad agencies lose accounts for being boring, static and unprofitable for every one that gets fired for being remarkable.

50 churchgoers switch to a new congregation because of a boring or uncaring leader for every one that leaves because she was offended by a new way of thinking.

50 employees lose their jobs because the business just faded away for every one who is singled out and fired for violating a silly policy and taking care of a customer first.

50 readers stop visiting your blog (or your site or your magazine or your TV show) because you're stuck in a rut and scared for every one who leaves because you have the guts to change the format or challenge the conventional wisdom.

50:1.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 50:1:

» The Perils of Mediocrity from Manage To Change
People worried about losing their jobs for being outrageous, controversial, or “fringe” would be better served worrying about a lay-off because their company is unremarkable. It has to start somewhere. How can your company be remarkable, if you’re afra... [Read More]

» How to Lose Your Job by Keeping It from byron-davis.com
If you didn't already know, I serve as the Director of Worship (yes, I'm working on a better job title--suggestions, anyone?) in a Southern Baptist church that is struggling to find herself and a raison d'être in a post-modern (post-fundamentalist, [Read More]

» Seths Blog: 50:1 from It's Good To Be Dave
Seths Blog: 50:1 50 churchgoers switch to a new congregation because of a boring or uncaring leader for every one that leaves because she was offended by a new way of thinking. Once again Seth Godin is amazing. How much time do we waste trying to keep ... [Read More]

» Positive encouraging from jsnowcarpenter.com
Here is a small excerpt from a recent blog from Seth Godin: 50 churchgoers switch to a new congregation because of a boring or uncaring leader for every one that leaves because she was offended by a new way of thinking. For the most part, I think tha... [Read More]

» 50:1--Odds that Seth is Right from All Things Workplace
I have to comment on Seth Godin's 50:1 post today. It's all about the odds of losing your job because the organization can't keep doing business the way it is and still stay in business vs. losing your job because [Read More]

» You are 50 times more likely to get laid off for being safe at work... from One Louder
than for taking risks . According to Seth Godin. It's like getting into a cold pool. Just jump in. You'll [Read More]

» Unremarkable is not necessarily mediocre from Worth Every Penny...and you're getting it for free.
I like Seth Godin's blog a lot. He's an interesting thinker, and often prompts me to interesting (occasionally remarkable!) thoughts. But sometimes, as in his "50:1" post, (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/10/501.html), the call to stand ou... [Read More]

» Stuck in a Rut? Remember the 50:1 Rule from WebMetricsGuru
Ok, I get it. Be daring and innovative, and even though it's risky, your actually 50 times less likely to be fired than if your just conventional and don't make waves. Did I get that right? I think that's what... [Read More]

» Perils of Mediocrity from BrainBasedBusiness
We usually think of change that adds fear … and so its an interesting departure today over at Ann Michaels … The Perils of Mediocrity. Ann reminds us that People worried about losing their jobs for being outrag... [Read More]

» Risking your job from Gruntled Employees
Seth Godin's excellent blog had a great piece on mass layoffs called "50:1" — the number 50 being the Bureau of Labor Statistics' threshold for a "mass layoff." Seth's point is that you're more likely to have your job evaporate [Read More]

» FREAKS! Sometimes they make all the difference from Today is that Day
If youve ever heard of Seth Godin, then you know that he tends to lean so far towards out of the box thinking that he is actually not even IN the box anymore, and I cant think of high enough praise for that type of behavior!... [Read More]

» So safe is the new risky? from "Write now is good."
Want to keep your job? In Seth Godin's post 50:1, he recommends risk. Take the risk to be creative and different and innovative. It will pay off better than being bland and non-descript and rank-and-file will. Here's a point from this post that stuck w... [Read More]

» Being remarkable: An economic necessity from Yuticha
Continuing from his thoughts in his famous compilation of 'remarkable' ideas thoughts -Purple Cow, Seth Godin has a compelling post on his blog which makes a case for 'being remarkable' a necessity than a 'nice-to-explore' option when it comes to [Read More]

» Being remarkable: An economic necessity from Yuticha
Continuing from his thoughts in his famous compilation of 'remarkable' ideas thoughts -Purple Cow, Seth Godin has a compelling post on his blog which makes a case for 'being remarkable' as a necessity than a 'nice-to-explore' option when it comes [Read More]

» Purple Cows and Utter Silliness from Episteme - Belief. Knowledge. Wisdom.
Over at JibberJobber, Jason had a great post about interviewing and being creative. From the post: "If you just can’t get over that urge, and feel you need to break the mold and say something “impressively different,” do yourself a favor and DON’T.... [Read More]

» Are we too risk averse? from Breathe Fire
Seth Godin had a blog article a few weeks ago entitled 50:1. He compared the numbers of layoffs to the numbers of people who get fired for attempting to do something great. He proposes that 1 person gets fired for attempting something g... [Read More]

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