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… You make us so comfortable when you stick around.

A little while ago, we wrote a piece called “Free Agent Nation?” covering what we perceive as the impending exodus of talent from corporations.

Before we extemporize, quantify, clarify and obfuscate, we formally want to tip the hat to Daniel Pink who wrote about the subject in Fast Company and more recently in his book – we haven’t read the book yet, but will be doing so in the near future. Despite our uncanny ability to resell work we’ve previously done, and repackage others’ intellectual property with a facade of our own creation, we absolutely, totally do not steal from our bretheren – we didn’t coin the term Free Agent Nation

[though we did add the question mark]

and want to recommend you read the original article now – it was somewhere in our subconscious as we brought a lot of ideas together over the past few weeks.

OK. That’s over – phew!

Pretty transparent, right? Our owning up to an unwitting terminology ‘borrow’. Not for us the game of “that’s not fair, we didn’t know about it” – no, here at BadConsultant towers, we tell it like it is

[especially at – have you left a jobinion yet?]

regardless of whether it places us in positions of jeopardy.

Would that the rest of the world would do that.

Instead, we are fed a litany of excuses, blame rants, whining, whingeing, bellyaching, caviling, criticizing, deprecation, disparagement, fault-finding, griping, grouching, grousing, grumbling, kvetching, moaning, nagging, niggling, nit-picking, overcriticizing, quibbling, scathing… Well, you get the picture, right?

Through our multi-variant, cross-referential, do-loop, mega-meta-analysis of conventional wisdom-sapping framework complexes, we’ve identified that for the majority of your workforce, victimhood is a comfortable bed-fellow. For them, it’s all your fault; your fault that…

  • they didn’t hit their targets
  • their ideas aren’t strong enough to move forward
  • there’s in-fighting within the team
  • they aren’t able to develop the skills the business needs tomorrow

They’ll whine and complain

[and all those other words we cribbed from an online thesau… er… erm… our knowledge management database]

about all of it. Only they won’t do it to your face. They’ll do it in a bar, in a cubicle, in the park… Anywhere but where they need to do it: In the moment, at work, with you and the team.

To them it’s all your fault.

And guess what? They’re totally and utterly correct. It is. Because, when it comes to bringing people to a highly engaged state, it’s highly, highly unlikely that your own leadership is telling you it’s what’s expected – so the only reason you’ll do it is because you naturally believe it’s the right thing to do and have the capability to do it. There aren’t that many of you – and it’s highly unlikely you hear the whining nearly as much as others do.

For the rest of you managers, though, you are in complicity with the victims you manage – human beings perpetuate the status quo

[here we go-oh… Rockin’ all over the world! Cue Americans going “huh?!!!”]

no matter how painful. Put simply, you are comfortable managing victims.

We’re going to let that sink in.

You are comfortable managing victims.

Why? Well, if you do it like you did it yesterday, no-one can hold you accountable for today’s poor results; today’s failure was perfectly acceptable yesterday. So, why change anything?



We’ll be back soon to answer the question.

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