The invisibles or the avoidance phenomenon
A key factor in a dysfunctional environment. Considering others invisibles. Professor Robert Sutton, from Stanford University, in his book Good Boss, Bad Boss, also emphasizes this feature. I confirm it because I witnessed it and experienced myself.
Usually it happens with very competent people. Such people end up being a «threat» to the routine of the company. Having ideas or working well can be threatening for colleagues and for the boss. So, the first effective way to end the productivity or the brilliance of the individual is to make it «invisible».
Example: As the company was in economic and financial difficulties, one day, as a production director, I suggested to do some market research to find a printing company's lower price. The answer came quickly from the CEO. And strange: «Forget it, that is not worth it for sure! We're done»
However, I took the initiative to contact about a dozen printers, even against the odd suggestion of the CEO. And the surprise came: a printing company that charged less than $10,000 month. Something brutally significant according our size and revenues. CEO was stunned, but overjoyed. We changed anyway and the company breathed better. We got rid of the bankruptcy spectrum.
The outcome: From this moment, all of a sudden, I became a kind of «superhero»: the Invisible Man. A large number of colleagues of mine and peers started a kind of group action, avoiding me and across me as if I did not exist... Exceptions happened in a strictly professional situations. Some comments I heard was still like «You have craze you are good». Imagine so many hours spent in the company as if I were invisible to most people, and after taking a spontaneous initiative with a direct impact on maintenance of jobs and also the company.
In dysfunctional companies, efforts are punished, competence is a threat, the potential is punished, good work is punished.
The solution? What to do? Well, invest all you can, in effort, get the all you need, then flee from that company. Just run away from this environment that takes you, day after day, so valuable energy.