site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Rats Off a Sinking Ship...
...a friend recently sent out an email stating that she's glad that she'll be getting off the sinking ship that is her company (assuming she finds other employment soon) and it reminded me to take another look at what's going on with my LinkedIn account.

So I was cruising around and thinking about all the people that I've worked with over the years and who aren't at the company any longer. Many of them aren't on LinkedIn (or the search isn't finding them there) and I've gotten a couple of recommendations from folks who I have worked with in the past and am waiting on a couple more.

But then I was cruising through a couple of folks' recommendations and found that they're leaving the company. One I knew about already after having lunch with one of his colleagues in the data warehouse department. Another was a complete surprise that I didn't know was leaving, and she will be a great loss to the company. And that set me to thinking.

I've got another colleague in this department that's leaving in about 3 weeks. She's in the same sort of situation as I am - others who shouldn't have decision making power over our tenure basically engineered her exit. At least her boss tried to stand up for her and keep her around.

Others in Operations have left either through "separation agreements" or out and out firings. A couple have retired. It's like everyone who spent their time and sacrificed hours of sleep to build this company from the beginning are slowly (or quickly in some cases) finding a path to the exit being laid for them. This other person and I are the last ones left from the original team, except the current interim COO. I suspect that if it were possible the two individuals who have been helping to "clean house" would probably get rid of him too. Then again, he gave them their power...

Oh, I waited the company out and knew they'd have to pay me to leave, and the way it's been done in my department was not pretty. But it's still sad to watch things fall down around us as some very talented people walk away to find new jobs. I suspect that I'll land somewhere at some point in the future with one or two of these people. Or maybe I'll just keep in touch with them and we'll share our successes over email. Either way, it's an interesting point of view as you've watched people get out, and now you're one of the rush of rats off the ship.

It's definitely a different perspective than the one I had almost 9 years ago when I was the first rat off the sinking ship (and oh, did that company sink after I left!) and there were others who took my departure as a sign. For me, it was just my time to go and I'd landed a great opportunity. For them, it was a sign of things to come. I remember getting together with some of them about two years after the company folded and some of them had yet to find jobs.

I doubt that this company is going to go down into the murky depths to find failure ad have that sort of fall out. There's too much going on with too many smart people still working hard. There are also a lot of intelligence-impaired individuals who are left here to make decisions that they're really not capable (or confident) of. I think my problem is that none of those smart people are the original folks who built the vision and the foundation for these new folks to work with.

Oh sure, the original CEO is still here and one of the engineers, but none of the original visionaries are still around. That's not to say that new people can't bring something to the table - they've got new ideas and new directions and experiences. But that's not a reason to get rid of the folks who can learn from those new people and who can also help engineer those ideas into successes. When I've watched quality (as a customer) take a very windy path at the cost of, well, lower costs and the customer experience has suffered just slightly it makes me wonder about not having those visionaries around. Now it's just smart people who can execute short-term ideas and not really do the long term building of the company. Other than one thing the CEO has held onto since before I walked in the door here, there's no vision anymore that I can see.

And that's a little scary when you think about it because without a vision there isn't a path. And without a path, you're lost in the woods....

...let's hope there isn't a forest fire next.