Pissed off

Disclaimer: I found this article in my drafts, and found it still relevant according to what I hear and the overall atmosphere. It is not about my amazing employer, or the customers I’m working with now or have been recently. OK… 3, 4…. pissed off

A few days ago I heard you, some boss, talking once more about someone who left your company as being too much of an idealist. But they were just human. They understood your organization could not help them in any way but a short-term financial one.

It is not that they were an idealist, but that your are blind about your organization. You don’t see that it looks at the world in a totally unrealistic way. You want the world to be predictable, but it’s never been. You blame people who couldn’t predict the world. You put processes in place to make better predictions, or to make sure everybody follow intelligent people’s predictions. You waste everybody’s time when they were wrong about the future. You don’t allow your people to succeed (yeah I’m sure you consider them as yours)(and I’m sure you also call them resources). You show them no respect. So they leave.

You think acting like this is mature? Your complicated KPIs and dashboards might be serious in your father’s eyes, but from professionals’ point of view it’s ridiculous. You’re dressing up with your working boy suit, your blue shirt, and your tongue wiper. You’re playing with your friends in your backyard, while other kids are growing up without you.

Your organization earns wicked loads of money. It probably has the awesome power to kill all competitive initiatives. You have decades to be wrong without a problem. So live on your island while your conscience and your ambition allow you. You can go on playing with your pals. Just don’t ask serious people to help you run to the cliff, even if it is still far in the fog.

By the way, where did you find these processes and models? Show me the papers that go beyond superstition, defending command and control, documenting why some people deserve thinking for others who would be wrong otherwise, suggesting predictions can be reliable in complex environments. Childish games, I’m telling you.

People leaving your organization are right. Because somewhere out there, organizations have a descent model of the world. They build amazing products in an iterative and incremental way, with the necessary autonomy and agency, and just enough alignment. They help users and customers solve problems. They build processes around doubt and diversity of thought. They allow people to succeed, and grow. They are many, and they are the ones customers put their money in.

Am I an idealist? Definitely yes. Because we don’t have the luxury to be anything else than idealists. Especially with organizations like yours killing our dreams.

Is it unrealistic? I’m sure it’s not, because I see it working. Even thriving.

I don’t have the luxury to participate in sick organizations, to help them go from catastrophic to almost mediocre. I don’t want to chase my tail in circles in the dark. I only have a small half of a life left. And I don’t want next generations to have to endure that futile torture.

You’re over. You always have been. Deal with it.

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