I was talking with a friend of mine last night who had just received a steaming hot pile of management bullshit from one of his fearless leaders. Apparently this dude, in an all hands (and no heads) kind of situation, lectured an entire division on how they should be flexible and adapt to the changes that the business was making.
Every time a company changes anything - either because
a). the business environment is changing, or
b). they want to increase profitability, or
c). some executive believes that you are drinking way too much free coffee for your own good
- whatever the reason - every time a company changes anything, the employees get the short end.
This company I'm talking about is going through a tough business cycle. So they're planning some changes. I bet they will be one or all of:
- additional product cost reduction programs,
- reduction in training and travel expenses,
- reductions in non essential spending (Bring your own coffee, pens, papers etc)
- Stifled promotions and raises
- reductions in workforce,
What are these changes going to do for the company?
More money and more profit? Maybe.
Happy shareholders? In the short term, maybe.
And what are these changes going to do for the employees?
Higher Workload? Check
INcreased Stress? Check
Reduced Job Security? check
Reduced earnings (adjusted for inflation)? Check
So every change makes it tougher on the employee, benefits the employer.
Which is fine.
Business gets tough and tough shit happens.
But it really ticks me off when a management executive comes down and lectures the hordes on how THEY need to be more flexible.
How about YOU being more flexible with how much money you want to make?
How about you making YOUR BUSINESS more flexible so that you don't have to panic every few quarters for a few pennies per share?
All said and done though, you know what is really sad? The executives are right.
They've got us by our short and curlies.
You've got to change. Because if you don't, you will hurt more than those who do.
Adjust and adapt to the changing demands, and you may be able to keep your job.
You will remain stressed, overworked, underpaid and wretched. And when you come in to work, you won't even be able to swig on muddy dark drown thick goo that used to be your free coffee. But you will retain a paycheck.
So is there no solution?
Yes there is: Change faster.
F than your company can.
Move roles. Add positions, responsibilities on your resume. Change companies. Change whatever. Just do it fast.
Faster, preferably, than allows for any realistic assessment of your performance. That is, before anybody has the chance to find out that you really don't know what you're doing, move.
People like this get promoted my friend.
They get put in CHARGE of change.
Then soon enough, you'll be the executive that waltzes down to India and lectures the teeming millions on how THEY must learn to adapt.
And if you've not had a sip of your own Kool-Aid by then, you will enjoy the irony of it all.