From boom to crash.
From boom to crash.By Igor Couto
March 20, 2023
The price of irresponsible hiring.
n recent years, many companies were created or artificially grown with a focus on innovation driven by euphoria. Unfortunately, these companies have suffered from frequent layoffs as a result of the demands created by technological hype and planning failures, which has been one of the main causes of sector instability and enormous social and human costs.
From startups to big tech, through companies of all sizes, we are adjusting the technology investment path. What can we learn from these mass layoffs to build healthier, more successful companies? Obviously, external factors such as the volume of hiring and investment during COVID-19 for a hyper-digital society, economic instability and international conflicts play an important role. But what about ourselves?
"Irresponsible hiring has been one of the biggest causes of mass layoffs."
If we look deeper, we see that blind repetition in competitive strategies such as copycat (just follow), hyper-accelerated growth, or uncritical investing are at the root. When we innovate for the sake of innovating or follow trends like the fashion industry in technology, we can expect to pay the price. And it's not just financial or short-term.
"Quiet quitting", "job hoppers", bonuses or mass hiring treats (before delivering any amount), aggressive tech recruiters, pseudo "coaches" devaluing the company-person-work relationship and disseminated toxic leadership are signs that we have broken the most valuable trust that exists for a company's culture: the identity of its people. No, we are not as efficient or even capable of working in any industry, anywhere, just because we are paid and have a skill set.
I am reminded of the tragic turn of the century (attributed to Henry Ford) asking "Why is it that every time I ask for a pair of hands, a brain comes along." Fortunately, beyond the brain comes a heart. It is in this union between will, thought and emotions that our individual and collective performance of greatest potential as organizations lies.
In deep tech, we always consider technology as a living dimension of companies. I believe that the greatest lesson we can learn from mass layoffs is to remember the principles of LIVING PLANNING, which Arie de Geus brilliantly taught us:
Conservatism in finance: Money in the bank allows companies to govern their own growth and evolution autonomously. Sensitivity to the external environment: Whether they have built their fortunes on knowledge and innovation or anything else, companies must be aware of everything that is happening. Self-awareness: No matter how widely diversified companies are, history repeatedly shows that a sense of community is essential for long-term survival. Tolerance of New Ideas: Experiments and eccentricities broaden our understanding. By prioritizing positive, lasting impact, we can unite and find much healthier growth paths for our organizations.
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