I work for a fairly large IT firm that hasn’t been doing so well lately. We’re doing a little better now than we were about a year ago, when our board decided to replace most of the upper management. Old tune was diversify, new guys tune is focus. And thus, the division I work in is not “core” and has been for sale for the past few months.
It’s tough working in a company who’s future is uncertain. But at the same time, it’s seems to me that it’s a lot like working for yourself in the so called “free agent nation” that has gained so much fame since the concept appeared in a Fast Company article a few years ago.
The most difficult thing is trying to think long term. How can we make long term commitments to do anything, when our whole world can change tomorrow? This kind of thinking causes all sorts of problems. We try to delay decisions until the last possible minute, and then miss the opportunity to really take advantage of thi things we do decide to do. We try not to look out into the market too far and so we’re always caught reacting to our competitors.
What’s the answer? Not really sure, but I think it’s somewhere in the quote from James Dean that appeared at the end of Tom Peter’s book Reimagine:
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today”