A man trying to protect himself from a giant spike-heeled foot from crushing him. The demise of the tech culture

The demise of the tech culture

Who would have thought the tech culture’s demise would happen this way?  You must have heard of the utopia, a relaxed environment in tees and jeans.  Good snacks, flexible working, a long list of benefits and excellent compensation for doing things that no one outside the niche understands.

In one week, we’ve been greeted with the shocking news of more cuts to some of the biggest names in the sector. Although they may all seem horrendous, what would be considered the recent chops’ good, bad, and ugly?

A plan without knowledge of the culture

The deal is complete, video footage of Elon Musk walking into his new company with a kitchen sink. Not cute! Firing half the workforce sent a new precedent.  

Usually, a new executive will take over and give a soliloquy about the transformation. But, unfortunately, the obligatory speech subtly hints towards job losses—no such elegance in reporting this story.

When a reset will be the best next step

It’s like the bridezilla of the wedding or the bratty toddler who claims all the toys. Both scenarios end with a lot of tears, blubbering and snot! But, then realisation sets in that they will need others because “no man is an island,” so, in less than a week, it’s time for some humble pie.

How is that to be interpreted, especially with such a cinematic entrance? It’s one of the best ways to introduce uncertainty and stress your workforce about updating CVs and putting in the extra hours (finding a new job). No one who knows their worth will be waiting for the volatile leader to change his mind with the direction of the wind. 

Your style of leadership will have an impact on the culture developing in your business.

Company demise vs. culture demise

Outrage at the sacking of 11,000 employees from Meta.  Innovation is the accompanying silent word to tech.  Therefore when you have a leader who has been riding the wave for almost 20yrs, can you forgive for complacency now that they have someone on their heels? 
There are no guarantees in business.  There are plenty of has been case studies that map their demise.  Some would conclude they were resting on their laurels.  Yet a basic rule in business is to keep moving if you want to keep the top spot. 
This leader is on the record taking full accountability for the action taken.  That includes reducing the workforce by around 13% and only deciding after losing an eye-watering amount from the company value.

A culture moving in the right direction

So, cutting back on the employee perks, closing offices and letting people go are measures to save the company.  And let’s not forget the protection of the remaining 87% of the workforce.
Policies don’t appear to be forsaken in blind panic because severance pay has been mentioned along with additional perks for a period of time. Being let go is rarely met with excitement, especially in such challenging times.  However, from the information being delivered here is a leader with heart. It is not about being liked; difficult decisions are unavoidable for the greater good.

My final words on tech culture

At some point, difficult times will occur, and it will be a matter of sink or swim.  The Titanic has suddenly come to mind.  The controversial ending and whether there was enough room on that floating piece of debris.  When the going is good, it is for the leadership team to decide on the best course of action.  

In both examples, the team was cut, yet the process of how they chose to deal with the crisis is the difference between a bruise and a scar for life.  Curate a culture with policies and procedures that ensure your internal community is respected to the point where the door closes with their final goodbye. 

As The Ethical Strategist it is my pleasure to  remind you that with policies, you will have a guide to assist you through challenging times. It is not to say there will be no emotions. It is part of our nature. 

However, if you stay true to your word, there will be no lasting bitterness. Book a Sip & Chat if you are struggling with striking the right cultural balance.

CAS Ltd, The Ethical Strategist, Cas Johnson - find the balance for your business with policies and culture.

Leave a Comment