Build yourself a Sol-style salary

Salary reviews are rarely fun, and one of their more challenging elements for senior managers working out what kind of salary/bonus structure is appropriate.If you're looking for some creative new ideas to pitch at your boss when review time comes around, why not take some handy hints from Telstra head honcho Sol Trujillo?

Salary reviews are rarely fun, and one of their more challenging elements for senior managers working out what kind of salary/bonus structure is appropriate.

If you're looking for some creative new ideas to pitch at your boss when review time comes around, why not take some handy hints from Telstra head honcho Sol Trujillo?

As reported elsewhere on ZDNet, an analysis by the Competitive Carriers' Coalition suggests that Telstra senior management, from Sol on down, has structured its pay so that the biggest rewards come via short-term incentives, rather than long-term business goals.

For instance, rolling out new 3G services in a fixed time frame could result in a bonus payment, regardless of whether any paying customers signed up for that service further down the line and actually made it profitable.

Now, there are undoubtedly some questionable elements in the analysis. For one thing, the CCC says it has had the data reviewed by an independent expert, but won't disclose who it is. For another, while the CCC is happy to draw conclusions from that data (such as the need for operational separation of Telstra), it flatly refuses to comment on whether it thinks there's a more appropriate model for renumerating executives.

Nonetheless, the fact that the Telstra board apparently managed to slip this remuneration model past the government -- a government, let's not forget, which likes to sell itself on its strength as an economic manager above all else -- means that you've got a potentially excellent case study if you decide to propose a similar scheme.

For instance, you could set a simple and defined goal, such as rolling out a new piece of CRM software, with a well-defined timeframe, and ask for a bonus if that happens.

Conventional business wisdom suggests that you'd need to show what the business benefit of the application was, and how much money you've saved. But in the Telstra world view, that doesn't matter. You simply define the goal, realise it, and start shopping for that new yacht.

Now of course, there's a slight risk that your manager may be less gullible than Telstra's majority shareholder, the Federal Government. But in this era of apparently flexible work choices, why shouldn't you have the option of trying?