Elusive Talent in Large Companies

This Forbes article shows 10 reasons why talented people leave esp. large companies.

Open Mindedness: What a surprise to find that I’m not the only one annoyed by corporate policies, in particular specific business processes esp. when these are anything but fluid. That was one of my first observations upon entering a new company yet any attempt at making improvments merely hit a wall as I just got the run-around. The person making policies is either not taking responsibility or simply not interested in updating status quo. WOW – REALLY!!?

Leadership: For a long time, my simpleton definition of this concept revolved around ‘telling others what to do’. In some cases this may be true, however genuine leadership is

  • leading by example and inspiring others to bring out their talents, hidden and overt
  • showing an interest in the projects they’re working on (w/o being a monkey on my shoulder)
  • being a support when e.g. difficulties arise
  • being approachable, open-minded, …
  • being part of the team yet true to your function …

Surveys: Does your company have you fill out an annual survey on “how are we doing”? Such a questionnaire usually encompasses subjects such as company vision, communication, job satisfaction, et al. The funny thing about these surveys is that they’re worded in such a way if you answer negatively, you feel like a black sheep, however if you answer positively, you feel like a mere “yes” wo/man. I have yet to remember as much as I need to schedule some time to write up an essay on these subjects so that when the next survey comes, I can copy/paste my thoughts into the freestyle feedback field …

Lastly, one of the first things companies need to lose from their vocabulary is the term resource when referring to its employees. I’m NOT a resource just as much as I’m not a widget, I’m a person. Write it down, learn it, do it!

In the end I feel that some corporations, as well as government, large and small, seem to be learning from each other <SNICKER; SIGH> —you can all see where that’s gotten us— and I’m not the most patient person when it comes to address certain things and people. But rather than looking for greener grass I take upon myself the mission to first improve my own impatience so that then I may find a more pleasant, if not diplomatic, way to address these things right where I am.

Cheers ~


  1. If companies are going to give their employees access to the Internet/blogs and then cry “misuse of company resources” when those employees read/write blog entries during their down time, then shouldn’t those companies be consistent and also forbid smoke breaks on the basis that smoking is unhealthy and, therefore, a misuse of the financial resources that they company spends on healthcare benefits? Yes, it’s kind of an absurd analogy, but I think it illustrates what a slippery slope this kind of thing can be.Unfortunately, not every employee out there demonstrates enough of a work ethic or enough common sense to build a lot of conficence when it comes to allowing employees to police themselves on matters like this. I don’t know of a single manager who wants to spend their time governing what websites their underlings visit or whether Bob over in Accounting tacks on an extra 15 minutes to his lunch hour twice a week. However, when employees do stupid or abusive things, management often has little choice but to try to establish policies to help minimize future stupidity. By their nature, these policies are often excessively broad, ill-fitting, inconsistent and completely devoid of common sense. But more often than not I think they’re stupid solutions to equally stupid problems that arise when people do stupid things. It’s less a question of employers trying to be Big Brother than it is one of employers trying to strike a reasonable balance between individual liberties and the need to protect the company. Unfortunately, some employees make this balance a lot harder to achieve than it needs to be.

  2. So many comments so little time.

    While thinking about how to reply I found my self following some of the same thought processes as when I replied to the post here on problems with large groups or people forming a society.

    Yes in a ideal world people would have a vested interest in making policies and processes better. Most people are just “doing their job” to get by to get a paycheck and possibly get a promotion.

    When a company is small it is easy to make allowances for different circumstances and adjust policy to fit. As a company gets larger these allowances become harder to justify and the policy ends up being followed more closely. Also the policies are made for the average employee and as the number of employees increases the larger the possible variations are (the standard deviation becomes higher) so the policy closely matches individuals situation less and less. So you end up following policies that don’t fit the situation more closely as the a company gets larger.

    In many cases it is not in a individuals or even a groups priority to fix their policies. If a group/individual is overloaded an inefficient or cumbersome policy can even help them cope by slowing things down. Also a company usually will not have any performance metrics on how efficient their policies are so there is no driving reason to make them better since they do not effect their perceived performance.

    Ok that is the some comments on the first paragraph.

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