Mr Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs and posted a NYT Op-Ed comment about why.
I think he spoke for many when he addressed the change in attitude and culture since he arrived, first as an intern, more than ten years ago. Reading his comment, with his brief list of accomplishments, including a bronze medal and being a Rhodes scholar, the one comment that struck me most was this:
"Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore."
I identify with the sentiment. It doesn't 'feel' right. The point speaks to me about having a bottom line as a vision, the bottom line being profits, losses, operating costs, margins and overheads.
Yes, those are all important, but they're a metric for how well you're doing, and not the vision of what you're tying to accomplish.
Also along these lines was James Whittaker's comments about why he left Google and went to Microsoft. He also talks about a culture change, but this one was about Google becoming a company with a corporate mandated focus that killed innovation. The focus was Google +, Facebook competition. Social media is the current sexy market.
I think that's another area where many of us can relate. For me, the top down, top heavy chase the current fad, well, wears heavily. Ideas without executive sponsorship doesn't go far, and problems that senior management doesn't identify often go ignored. 'They' have the big picture; we don't. Yet when solutions start filtering down, we discovered many details that weren't considered with the result being an ineffective solution. Plans are made to fix the problems but end up being lost through time until the process and solution become so byzantine that no one can completely grasp it.
But most of us, unlike Mr Smith, and Mr Whittaker, will continue to cope with our employers' shortcomings until better pastures will come along. Let us pray we have the patience to endure.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com