Dealing with stagnant companies can be a complicated affair, especially if you are faced with management and people at the top who are part of the problem. The real issue is when these people cannot be removed or demoted, in which case the problem may not be easy to remedy. I remember when I came across one such company, it was not fair to point fingers and judge from the outside, so what I did was dive in.
From the get-go I could see how reluctant people in management were to anything other than the status quo, and they had a very self-serving and selfish mentality. One senior in particular was very coy and political, while the other was very open and aggressive, lacking emotional intelligence and ruling by fear but who had genuine talent regarding his specific task at work. This created a very unhealthy environment and the person in charge of the company was blinded by the political games of one and talent of the other, taking a very ‘hands off’ approach, leading to staff turnover, inefficiency, and stagnation.
So how did I deal with it? Over time as I grew, so did my influence. When I would propose changes that other people would shoot down, I would implement it anyways and proved myself with results. When mistakes were about to be made, instead of being a ‘yes man’ and playing politics and fearing retribution, I spoke my mind in the company’s best interest. And when these mistakes were made, instead of pointing fingers, running away, or pretending it’s not my problem, I would take responsibility and sort it out.
Life is about compromise and come time I realised removing both trouble makers would not be accepted by the person in change, so I worked to dilute the influence of the one I deemed to be the worse of the two. Soon after my addition the company grew for the first time in a while. The sad fact is despite the positive changes a couple of years later we hit a ceiling, more changes to the status quo was required to keep stepping forward. When speaking with the person in-charge about this issue, he brushed off my feedback. Realising I had hit a dead end, I answered with the ultimate mic drop and walked away from the company. Was this move too harsh? Well, without my influence in management to balance the ship, if it started sinking, he’ll have no choice but to accept the facts.