#263 from R&D Innovator Volume 6, Number 2 February 1997
Lose by Keeping Us in the Dark
My small company
was taken over by a large one a bit more than a year ago.
It was a friendly deal, and most of us felt quite secure
and comfortable that we would make significant contributions to
our new parent. Of
course, we expected that it would take a while to get us
integrated, and to modify our strategies and our organization
has changed. There’s
been no edict to drop, or change, a program, no discussion on how
to merge teams, and we’ve heard very little about our role in
the overall company strategy.
We’ve been doing things just as we had before the
we’re curious—for many obvious reasons—about what is going
on, and what will be going on.
What makes me a bit suspicious is that my boss, who was
previously president of the small company and is now a vice
president of the larger organization, seems to know much more than
what he tells us. He
says that there have been no corporate discussions, that he knows
about, that involve change in our group.
we’re getting a bit insecure.
One of my colleagues is now looking for a position outside
of the company. There’s
a lot of discussion based on rumors.
For instance, someone was told by a very low-level employee
that she heard, from someone else, that plans are being made for
us to move to another facility, 2,000 miles away. You can imagine the hours we spent discussing this rumor.
These are hours we’re supposed to be working.
My boss said, as expected, that he hadn’t heard anything
along those lines.
Here we are
wasting time and energy, losing focus and getting ready to be very
angry when (if?) we find out that big changes have been planned
for a while. It would
have been so much more beneficial to the company if we were told
outright what is being discussed and/or planned. So, we would have been disappointed; but at least we could
plan our future and, if we want to stay with the company, we could
plan how to be maximally productive—no matter where the
location, and no matter what other changes are implemented.
If my boss is
actually kept out of deliberations by the highest levels, and
really knows nothing about discussions, that would make us even
This cloud of
insecurity costs the company quite a bit.
Is it worth it? Do
they realize it?