Wednesday, July 23, 2014
A set up for failure
The Vice-President of HR hired me to work with the conflict and emotional turmoil that was occurring because of what felt like a hostile takeover. In fact, the merger was really an acquisition. So, many people were being fired when I arrived.
Rather than introducing me to the rest of the executive staff, I was left to my own devices. Rather than clearly articulate my role, I was left to define it myself. Rather than being available to me as I needed him, this VP was always "too busy."
In talking with other executives, I learned that they asked him many months previously to hire me (or someone like me) to help with the turmoil of the acquisition. He stalled. Presumably the reason was because he thought his regular HR team could handle the fallout. His team was weak.
Many members of the executive staff told me that they no longer needed me. The damage had been done. They needed me months previously to help them explain what was happening to their teams, counsel members who were being fired to help them with their resumes, interviews for new jobs, etc., and to work with the guilt and anger those remaining were experiencing.
The HR VP was seen by the other executives as ineffective - and as working hard to protect his own job and his own turf.
Since I knew his wife socially, I later learned that he claimed that "I didn't understand the power politics" and was unable to ingratiate myself into the company.
At first I thought the failure had been my fault. My epiphany today was the realization that he made a series of errors that made me look bad.
Consultants are often in vulnerable positions. They absolutely need the support of the senior executives who hire them. Without that, they are wandering in the wilderness.
Monday, July 07, 2014
"Inscription on the Statue of Liberty"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Author: Emma Lazarus
Once that was true - but almost always with strings attached.
According to some experts, when the Jews came over Peter Stuyvesant met their boats and extracted a promise that they would always take care of their own. Thus, the service organization B'nai Brith was created.
During Hitler;s regime the boatloads of Jews trying to escape being annihilated were turned away.
Cuban's escaping Castro were allowed to remain if their feet could touch the shore.
Where is the balance? How do we determine who and how many? If we had a totally open door policy would we be encouraging millions of people to leave their countries of origin to come here - just the thousands we could readily absorb?
The great compliment of course - never to be forgotten - is no matter how much we may complain about our country - and how much we want to "tweak" it to improve it - it is still the greatest country in the world - the proof being it's where everyone wants to be.