by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 14, 2020
In the years I spent in the corporate media world, I went through several mergers and acquisitions on both sides. Those are very scary, and many people end up on the street. Old employees who believed in the organization they were part of saw it suddenly change into something new.
In those situations, often the result of economic changes or failure to adapt, some people were already tagged as redundancies. As an internal problem solver, sometimes defined as a hired gun, I was usually involved with those as well as with projects that had come to grief and needed to be rebuilt or terminated. Those projects also included people on edge and nervous.
I learned a lot in those years. It was excellent training for managing new media projects later, but it wasn't easy. Projects that I recovered were given back to the operating departments, and they got the credit. Through better technology or redesign, those I couldn’t get to work meant Friday afternoon termination meetings. Not the way to start a weekend with you as the executioner.
This is not a management article, at least not directly. The US and many other nations are experiencing an extended period of being merged and forced under new management with new goals as we struggle to survive an increasingly hostile planet. This is hitting first the poorest and the most structurally damaged.
As the most extreme capitalist culture, I’m surprised that we do not hear more direct comparison to what we all know best. We have lived for the last fifty years in the rise of predatory capitalism and capitalist realism. I’ve written about that also, but here I’m focusing on managing the process and making it work.
The greatest lesson I learned was to commit to working with the people I had. My priority was to rebuild an existing organization with new components and find how to make those people and the changed organization successful. That success was first for the employees I had; however, they were being labeled. If I could make them feel valued and supported, they inevitably brought skills and experience that the existing employees could value.
In the collapsing political world of the US and the other older capitalist and representative governments, we need new management. The rules are gone, and the old structures guarantee failure without massive change at the planetary level. But we have nothing but what we have left to build the new.
Much of what I learned in handling problem divisions and mergers was finding the language and the path to empowering the workers. I could not make them successful, but they could make us all successful. That took some attitude changes and some language creation to redefine things.
In operational corporate departments, great effort is expended in passing both responsibility and blame to other departments. At the everyday level, this is the practice of throwing things over the wall. It’s their problem then. The basic change needed is for people to be reminded daily that we are all in this together. There are customers to please for businesses, but, internally, other parts of the process are customers and suppliers.
I never found a magic tool to do this other than saying what you thought and rewarding those who made it their own idea, too. We have to do on a planetary level, but it must start with each group of people who can make this happen or block it by their attitudes and actions.
We need to make changes that are very large and very practical. These are complete economic transformation to attain sustainability and redistribute our planetary assets to every sentient being on the planet.
In the US, we have a new administration that was elected because they seem to understand this. The majority of the population realized we needed to work with the people available. We have a senior member of the old system who seems to have realized his past errors and a new Senator as VP who clearly sees what must be done.
We know that the old system has been taken over by opportunists interested only in blocking change to retain the tiny elite's wealth and power. That has already caused hundreds of thousands of deaths with many more to come unless we transform ourselves. The US political structure has failed and is not representative of anyone but that elite.
But the power of the executive, problematic in a truly democratic country, allows a great deal of quick change to meet the new needs. Now with Harris, Biden and Sanders developed a long list of immediate actions that can break the past forty years' walls and reverse failures. The electoral college can be removed by already existing legislative or executive changes. One more state will pass the Equal Rights amendment reducing the options for the minority packed Supreme Court to further damage people’s rights, specifically women's rights.
This needs to be done with commitment and no quarter. In one sense, this term, no quarter, means to take no prisoners but kill any who oppose. An alternative source of the term in English can be interpreted as to give no place to live. This may be by death but, in a modern sense, to give the enemy no place to live. I see this as removing them from public life and bringing those with criminal intent to justice.
Obama’s great failure was acting on the assumptions of the Constitution and the US judicial structure as a still viable system. But compromise and validity of the political system were already gone. Even in compromise, he was blocked for no reason other than to destroy any chance of real change already long overdue.
With the horror of the Trump regime and the blatant grasping of authoritarian power for a fascist-style dictatorship, there is no good to be found in those people and their followers. That is incredibly sad, but the reality of what we have. It needs to be changed quickly as we are already past the tipping point in the climate disaster, which will not allow survival for an unsustainable and brutally oppressive civilization.
Biden and Harris can not make Obama’s mistake and must push beyond the limit of what is possible to save us all.
They must act and give no quarter.