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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Here are some typical signs of a toxic workplace:
  • Many people write funny mails starting with statements like this - "Bringing to your kind notice that this is another instance", "I am surprised to know that", "Needless to say that", etc.
  • Many people (even who are supposed to be senior/mature managers) pounce on anyone who makes a mistake. And the mistake is highlighted time and again in every meeting to show down the person who made the mistake.
  • Many people are too turf-sensitive, deeply indulgent in blame game, totally political, highly hierarchy-conscious, and carriers of jumbo-sized egos.
  • Many people are deadwood and performing roles that could have been performed by people many years junior, they are generally there because they are in dead-end roles with no growth potential. Hence they need to protect their turfs vehemently at other's costs.
  • Many people are silent schemers who would keep a wry smile on their face and try to show how genuine they are but act/behave in a contradictory manner.
  • Many people are pushing their stuff to others or delaying it indefinitely and yet are still not held accountable for such actions.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Characteristics of Coterie-Managed Companies

Working in a coterie-managed company is an extremely challenging proposition. In such companies the co-founders and their loyal lieutenants are the "Insiders", everyone else is an "Outsider".

Such organizations are characterized by following:
  • The co-founders and their loyal lieutenants are short on ethics. When a loyal lieutenant leaves the company and rejoins immediately (such people can't thrive in other organizations) his employment continuity is shown with no break.
  • The co-founders and their loyal lieutenants maintain tight control by demeaning professionals hired from outside. Artificial reporting roles and lines are created to make sure professionals hired from outside remain puppets in the hands of loyal lieutenants.
  • The co-founders and their loyal lieutenants demonstrate time and again to professionals hired from outside their true place in the system (which is basically no better than that of a second grade citizen).
  • The co-founders and their loyal lieutenants go for lunch together. By virtue of being the elite of the company, lunch is served in a special way.
  • The co-founders and their loyal lieutenants may seem to disagree on certain matter over email but that is more of a facade to mislead professionals hired from outside.
  • The loyal lieutenants would gang up on the professionals hired from outside and many activities which should have been managed by them are conveniently downloaded to professionals hired from outside in the name of organizational interest.
  • The loyal lieutenants would also gang up on professionals hired from outside by maintaining tight control over the information that gets shared with professionals hired from outside (which is basically bare minimum and sketchy at the best). 
  • The co-founders would allow only their loyal lieutenants to have direct reporting into them. For areas where loyal lieutenants have zero competency requiring professionals to be hired from outside, such professionals will be made to report to one of the loyal lieutenants (who will have zero idea about what it takes to get work done in that area) . The idea is to show professionals hired from outside their "true place", second guess all their decisions, control resources, withhold information and essentially continue to maintain their "Outsider" status.
  • The loyal lieutenants would harass professionals hired from outside by maintaining tight control over resources. Requests by professionals hired from outside  for addition to their team will be brushed aside and ignored and instead will be asked to managed with scarce resources whereas the areas looked into directly by the  loyal lieutenants would be overstaffed.

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