I was at work one day when my division got acquired. I didn’t want to go, but like a stubborn 1st grader who doesn’t want to go to school, I didn’t have a choice. Call me old-fashioned, or maybe naive, but I thought I’d put in another 30 years or so, get my gold watch, and then hang up my cleats.
My old company had decades of established history, success, and hard lessons learned. My new company was a few years old and still figuring it out.
For months after the acquisition, I felt like I was in a weird parallel universe. The job, the people, the office were all the same, but it wasn’t the same. Everything had changed.
That’s when I noticed something.
The values I used every day to make decisions weren’t actually mine. I thought they were, but they weren’t. They belonged to my former company.
Let me explain
Company’s communicate their values to employees and customers in a variety of ways, but the best way to tell what a company values is by what gets measured.
My new company measured different things. The stuff I was working to improve before I was acquired kinda didn’t matter anymore.
I didn’t think my new company cared, so I stopped caring too.
Why this matters
I remember saying to myself “if the company doesn’t care about xyz thing, then I won’t either. All of a sudden, it’s on no one’s radar”
But I was wrong… because deep down in dark rooms where I hide feelings, I did care.
Eventually, we all would. As the business grew and matured we started to care about different stuff. The stuff we used to care about.
It took me a little while to figure this out. When I did, I realized I could positively influence change. I had already been where my new company wanted to go.
Help your company care
Want to know something? Like with people, companies change and grow.
If you care about diversity and inclusion but D&I doesn’t exist in your company yet, can you change that?
If you care about employee engagement, but no one has ever asked if you would recommend your company to a friend, can you change that?
If you care about free snacks in the break-room, I know you can change that.
Take stock of the things in business you actually care about, even if they aren’t on the poster. If your company doesn’t care about them yet, can you change that?
I think you can. Let me know when you do.