Beware of too big to care

Last night I had a quick back and forth with an old pal from my days in corporate life. She’s recently left a business she’d been a part of for close to 20 years. Sadly, her exit was precipitated by a corporate takeover and the systematic hacking out of residual approaches, processes and players still clinging to the old (and it should be noted, highly successful) way of life. Not all change is good, or necessary…but I digress.

It was another story in a series I’ve witnessed, heard, or read about lately. I know I bang on this drum all the time, but the company she left, and so many others like it, just don’t seem to care. Companies who don’t care should beware. The prevailing attitude in these organizations – “if they don’t like it, they can leave and we’ll find someone else” – has pretty short legs. You may have a recognizable brand and a finely-crafted veneer of a reputation, but it doesn’t take long for the smart ones to figure you out. Eventually, you run through string A and have to move onto string B. And oh the humanity once you’ve exhausted string B and have to move on to string C. The negative spiral continues. The smart and savvy people are onto your game, and they don’t want to work for you. Good luck running a successful business on the C string.

So what is a poor soul, stuck in one of these faceless organizations to do? Option A is to leave, but I get that some folks can’t (yet). One piece of advice here is to get yourself out of any bad debt you’re in so you’re not beholden to an overlord and can get the heck out, but that’s a topic for another rant. Option B is to accept it begrudgingly and let it wear you down. Option C is best I think, if Option A isn’t really an option for you. Blow your bubble. Make the space you’re in as fantastic as you can. You have the power; it all really starts with your attitude. And who knows, maybe you’ll show them how it’s done in the process, and they’ll start to stir from their arrogant and misguided slumber.