In the corporate world it’s all about synergies and communications and praising each others achievements to the skies. It’s about stretch targets and going that extra mile. It’s about being so far outside the box when it comes to your thinking that your potential cannot even be boxed in. It’s about harnessing the matrix. It’s about granular thinking, It’s about low hanging fruit. It’s about powerful conversations. It’s about shared visions.
At least until there is a retrenchment. Or a reorganisation. Or a restructuring. Or a streamlining initiative. The words redundancy and unemployment must never ever be referenced. These are naughty words and have negative implications. The corporation is all about being a positive upbeat. responsible global citizen, bringing achievable success and solutions in the most integrated manner. So the word redundancy give the corporation a temporary sad face.
And sad faces are bad. So it’s better to just put those nasty thoughts out of your corporate mind. Instead it is better to accentuate the positive. To focus on the growth opportunities being so thoughtfully presented to your fifty-something work colleague as he embarks on an exciting new chapter in his career, and launches himself back on the job market. Harness your potential you feel like saying.
Next week you’ll have a new colleague – fresh out of college on a six month temporary contract. Doing the exact same job as the predecessor.
I need to point out there that I am not speaking specifically about my current employer. In my many storied career, during my dizzy rise to the low middle, all my jobs have been a variation on the above tale. It’s a pre-requisite for working in a multi-national, methinks.
You drink the magic potion when you enter. Whether you believe it, or not, is entirely irrelevant. If you don’t share the company’s vision it gives them sad-face. And they might think you deserve the glorious option of exploring opportunities elsewhere. Common sense concerns like bills and a work / life balance are mere trivialities. You have got to talk the talk. There is of course less of an obligation to walk the walk. But at a minimum you have to be seen to be doing so. Image, politics and strategic thinking.
What has inspired such cynical, yet philosophical thinking from me today, you might ask.
Well as it is coming up to the year end, my annual performance appraisal is fast approaching. I need to polish up on my buzz words and fast.
I haven’t actually achieved the targets set out for me specifically. Oh I have performed my job successfully but I just need to figure out a way to translate the day to day reality of my job into snazzy corporate speak.
I need to maximise my growth potential you know.