"It was obvious, Dr. Kovacs"

Originally filtered, but time has passed and I don't work there any more, so it's safe to share.

Yesterday, five minutes after receiving a notice of a company meeting without a topic, I created the following and shared it with one trusted person:

flow chart: company meeting - agenda? - (no) end of month? - (yes) some of you no longer have jobs / (no) somebody important leaving

Five minutes after that I walked through the following reasoning:

  1. A change in $dominant_project leadership would have been announced at that team's regular meeting first, so not $project_leader.

1a. $related_project isn't quite $dominant_project, so this doesn't necessarily apply to $other_project_leader.

  1. People don't announce their own resignations at meetings, so not $business_unit_manager.

  2. $my_boss would have told his people before a broad announcement, so not him.

  3. $functional_area is currently in some flux up the chain but it's too early for an announcement of $their_manager moving up, I think.

  4. $remaining_founder wouldn't leave for anything short of death.

  5. $chief_architect is at the top of the heap; it'd be hard for him to find a comparable position in Pittsburgh.

  6. $engineering_department_manager (my grand-boss) has been distracted and somewhat erratic for the past few months. Match found.

A complication arose this morning when email went out about another important person leaving. (I had considered him yesterday -- I considered everybody with a door -- but decided they wouldn't call a meeting over him but just send email. Prescient.) But, sure enough, the meeting started by saying that we've had a rough week with that other person, a couple others, and $engineering_department_manager deciding to leave. That's not why they called the meeting; that was just the lead-in to a discussion about morale and future direction.

We have certainly been drifting away from some of the culture that made people want to be there years ago. Some of that is inherent in being bought by a large company, but some is not and I'm glad to see some real consideration of that. So time will tell, but I believe this is a good sign.

We don't yet know who, if anybody, will replace $engineering_department_manager. Possibly nobody; that part of the corporate structure seems to be part of the problem so they may rework that. (Essentially, we used to be one company with one person at the top, and now various of our managers report outside our location, carving up our people and leading to coordination problems and less of a feeling of being one team. And we apparently have permission to revisit that now, which is good IMO.)