The company had built factories to create memory chips. In the late 1960’s, they realized that global competitors were doing it better than them. The leadership in Intel took the radical decision of closing down the factories making memory chips, and building a product they didn’t entirely have the “know-how” to do; creating microprocessors. This decision saved Intel, and created history for the Silicon Valley. The story or reining in the chaos of feeling ‘wiped out” and authoring a new narrative for Intel’s future, is captured in Andrew Grove memoir Only the Paranoid Survive.
Your ground has shifted, anxiety awakens the abyss under your feet. You need to catch yourself, emotionally and cognitively. You had spent a decade or more in the organization, invested in certain priorities for the company. Dedication towards them helped you make meaning of your work-environment. But you are now given the news, that these anchors are shifting.
For example, you learn the hardware platform you’ve been working on has been rendered obsolete, your market is no longer familiar, the pricing structure is different, or whole departments have been moved abroad.
Whichever situation you best identify with, when you learn of a drastic shift in priorities, the immediate experience is one of feeling severely diminished in value. You don’t recognize yourself in the context of your firm, industry or life, anymore. An immediate question you would have, is whether it is time to gracefully leave, and work elsewhere?
But, you still love the organization. You respect the quality of the management at the helm, and you believe in them, even though they are now charting unfamiliar waters. How do you respond in a constructive sense, so that you can build bridges of true “value” and “relevance” with them, once more?
You call your EI Coach. How can she or he walk you through this process, building your resilience through the trials you face?
A negative critical review, demanding drastic levels of change and edits of some core priorities portfolio-wise, is very difficult to survive. But here is where the best of your internal resources are essential - the bigger clearer emotions, the best cognitive processes of analysis, synthesis, and understanding. Harnessing the deeper dimensions of your mind and heart, you gradually learn to master the chaos of these changes. The turbulence subsides and you find the anchors you need to steer into good weather.
Your EI Coach, works closely with you in fully absorbing the import of this “shock”.
•Your sessions with your EI coach prove fruitful in surprising ways. There are courses of action, apparent to her, that you had not perceived.
•In the changed milieu in the organization, EI works with your insights to help discern priorities and anchor you to new nodal points, that seem relevant.
•Understanding and perspective replaces the rising torment of anxiety and paranoia of your near irrelevance.
•EI compels you to build new bridges with all your friends in the firm, your juniors, peers and senior management, on the new terms each of you have to operate by. It is your turn to prove to them, how you feel about these changes and how you can continue to stay relevant?
•Over the months, with the possibility of
demonstrating success, project after project,
you strategically work to regain a sense of
value and relevance for the new class of
services, products and customers the firm
has decided to be defined by.
EI Authors A Transformation:
With your coach you discover from within yourself ways to work with the new priorities that had to be established, to rejuvenate the firm. She works with you to intelligently restrain the instinctual feelings of suspicion or bewilderment that can paralyze you into inaction.
Surprisingly, you discover that you can actually contribute to the new priorities the firm has determined to proceed on, in ways distinctive to your history and expertise.
You take ownership for shepherding into the organization a new capability to take on the challenges, for which you train, develop the skills, accelerate your learning and hire new talent. You make new decisions and find your self accomplishing new actions in surprising ways.
In a couple of years, you are in a new position, working with a renewed interest in the future of the organization, around an entirely new set of services and products that you have matured the skills to genuinely contribute to. You have new teams to oversee and new markets to service.
Your are stronger, more resilient, and have a much bigger influence on the organization and market than you had previously thought possible
Lou Gerstner was
called on in when
the company was
going under. He
culture of IBM
globally in far
around the globe.
He decided to reorient the mammoth organization towards entering the services industry and letting go off manufacturing hardware. This is yet another example of reflections, on what introducing a brand new priority can do for the history of enterprise.