sábado, 22 de janeiro de 2011

Toxic Companies - Take 3

«I only talk with you»

In some companies I worked for, I've always seen this. The CEO or chairman only talked with or to people in charge, managers, hierarchy. All communication was exclusive and didn't flow among teams.

At first, I thought this was normal, but soon I realize managers lied a lot and tended to manipulate a large amount of information, with bad consequences to companies, of course. In many situations, I've seen people got fired just because communication and information was misleading. The «I only talk with you» politic.

Once, I had the opportunity to be present at a meeting between a CEO and my department's director. At that time I would be in charge during his holliday. My God. I remember I couldn't believe in what I was hearing. The director took his word and has started telling so many lies, half-truths, misrepresentations and inaccuracies about the work processes, about people, about performance. I was astonished. A sense of fear ran through my body. I had to be carefull with that guy.

All decisions were made according the information told by that individual. He was seen as a star, he was... the best, and all people around him were so... «bad». And the CEO kept trusting him, again and again. And the results were not famous, but the guy kept talking, only with the CEO, only with the chairman. And there were so many things people liked to tell about him, the star. But couldn't because CEO and the chairman only talked to hierarchy.

What happened? As the results kept going down, although some peolpe got fired, at a certain point, doubts came about director's performance. In a desperate attitude, the CEO has decided to collect information and finally talked with employees. He got furious, but was too late. Something had to be done in a hurry. Company was in bad shape. «My God, why did I trust him? Why didn't I see this before?», claimed the CEO. Then, he put him away. Fired the director...

Lack of information is lack of management, perception and decision. My suggestion is if you are in charge for any area, please talk with several people and not just with the hierarchy. If you work in a large corporation may seem less easy. But it is possible. But if you work in a small business, as the case described, with about 25 people, believe that it will be easy to do.