Despite completion of the first month in the organization, I am still to become part of the team. What are the reasons? Do I not reach out to people? Have I tried that sincerely?
Initially when the environment was unfamiliar, I tried to evolve some strategy. In the first few days and on the days I spent in the factory, I went out of my way to be pally with the people there. Was I being fake? I think I was.
Subsequently when email wars started, I was wondering how to react. Now the CEO reads my mails which are on copy to him, briefs the Director on daily basis and they both talk to the concerned persons in the factory over speaker phone. After this phone call, B, QA Manager and Supply Chain Manager are prompt in their replies. A complicated sales support system, but it works for the moment.
The cartel (consisting of B, Production Manager, Finance Manager, QA Manager and Production Manager) in the factory appeared to me initially to be difficult to crack. It now appears that what it needs is call from the Director. I would like to reach a stage where the Cartel replies voluntarily on reading my mails. I would like to know what the Cartel is thinking about me.
Who are the weakest and the strongest link in the Cartel? Are there gaps among the managers in the factory? I spent far too less time to come to any conclusion on it.
My impression is that even CEO has not gained complete control of the managers in the factory. That’s why he makes all the calls to the factory only when he is together with the Director. Out of the people in the factory, it is only two managers with whom CEO gets along well – Supply Chain Manager (not a part of the Cartel) and Finance Manager. This could be inferred from the various meetings I had with CEO and at every opportunity he preferred to talk to only these two people, even if it is VP who will be in a better place to answer all operations-related issues.
Is VP part of the Cartel? As far as I can see, he wants to prop up B only and always like to ride on his shoulders. He does not seem to be having any special bonding with other Cartel Members. VP senses a threat in me for the reasons best known. How to read the VP?
I would like to introduce another group of people at this stage. There are a host of support staff who sit outside my chamber (whom we call The Ants).We had already met one of them, Ms.M of Export documentation (Day 22 – CEO’s War and Love). These guys are world unto themselves, very lowly paid clerical and assistant cadre staff. Frustrated souls! They are keen observers of power-mongering managers and hook on to whoever has the power. These support staff is headed by an assistant manager whom we call as VN.
VN is with the company for more than 18 years. After serving in the factory for 8 years, he was transferred to corporate office. A sweet talker! But he seems to hold many knots with him. The managers based in the factory keep close ties with him, because he would know well what’s happening in corporate office. CEO also keeps good relations with him, because he is a distant relative of Divisional Director. Support staff (which also includes Ms.M – the Documentation Girl) swears allegiance to VN.
VN and his staff are generally friendly to me, but they refrain from talking anything official. Is it because they are gauging me if I am loyal to the coterie of factory manager or to CEO Or to VP? Another reason could be that they would prefer to report to CEO like they do now, so shun any deal with me fearing I may try to boss over them.
Hmm…endless list of questions! My mind is going over-board with thoughts….am I being objective here? Or am I being biased due to insecurity or fear of failure ………Let me start meditating on clear blue sky now to seek some clarity!!!!
I see this as a resistance to anything new. Cartels are a form of closing in. When you need to block new energy from entering. A blockage can take any form – arrogance, indifference, doubting thomases etc. Any new energy is usually perceived as a threat, like a sudden breeze that blows in from the window, and disrupts all the stuff on your table that’s not tied down. On the other hand, the top may not like to disturb its existing bottom because bottoms are hard to replace. So i guess at the end of the day, its everybody holding on to what they have. Change be damned. That sounds good only in a Drucker. Meditating on the blue sky is a good idea!