Hello people! Hope you are having a great time trying to make sense of the world as you rush into your week ahead! Depending on where you are on the planet, you are either completely consumed by the outbreak of the Coronovirus, some kind of political upheaval, facing a financial crisis or dealing with a flash flood or an environmental challenge! and If none of these things have impacted you; then you are probably thanking your stars and are wondering what is in store for you! “What is hidden in plain sight” that is heading for you! This crisp piece is a sneak peak into how “We miss-what We see”!
As we go about rushing through our daily lives, what we end up doing inadvertently is missing the bigger picture and the contextual settings of what we see, furthermore add to this fleeting inference the extrapolation that your brain would do (on it’s own- tricking you in a way- based on your past experiences and stored reference points) which will do nothing more then taking you away far away from what the reality is and set you up in a completely manufactured setting which tends to create a narrative that confirms with your liking and comfort! This is the demon that we deal with, the good part- this demon is created by us- the bad part- we hardly know how to control it and when to unleash it!
Having spent close to two decades in areas of Sales, Marketing and HR, lot of my time has gone into dealing with people- yes- “dealing” with them in the every essence of the word! Surely enough- I may not have been that “Best Sales”, or “Best HR” or adhered to any of the society led conformity standards, but (what is important) what I learnt through my experiences being with fellow humans- has been that each one of them- has a story which in-turn has a fascinating contextual setting- which none of us can ever imagine-you would have heard that line, “Facts being stranger then Fiction” and boy, when you get to listen to people how they have moved around and through these contextual settings and the kind of extraordinary things that they would have done to survive and overcome situations- it’s a different universe unto itself!
Consider this setting; a sales person who was performing quarter on quarter suddenly seems adrift- seems to have lost the sheen completely and the magic seems to have worn off and with no time to spare(not to blame the organisation here) pretty soon by the end of the ongoing quarter- this person gets ejected from the system altogether! Here’s one such case about one such individual- what had transpired then was rather interesting- so this person- was going steady- in no time- incentives began pouring in and with that started the problem! Being young- lesser responsibilities and an approach that simply refused to prepare for a worst case scenario-the excess cash-at-hand soon became a curse- slowly indulgence turned into full blown addiction and in no time- addiction led to inattention at work- which translated into missing targets and eventually getting ejected! This is what appeared to be – but well- as I have been saying- this is what was seen but what actually happened was this- In plain sight what was hidden- The fact that the addiction had developed on the job while working! The person’s team leads then used to fun at the expense of this person (instead of censuring and discouraging this kind of contra behaviour which violated almost everything- from policy to genuine human value of care!) this was one thing that further reinforced the notion of being addicted and being high at work was fine! and when the fun was over and when the number game began to get hit- no time was wasted by the same team leads (who used to have parties around this person’s addiction) in preparing a case against him for being addicted on the job, missing business objectives and showed the policy clause number 1,2,3 and there went his future with his ejection!
So what had happened here? Well things were hidden in plain sight- Even the HR teams possibly failed to see what they should have ideally picked up (the root cause analysis) and instead believed to buy the story that was sold by the business team leads! Now, why did HR do that- well simple- No organisation, in today’s age has the time, money or resource strength to value individual’s as “Individuals” and the second problem of assuming “anyone can do anyone’s work” (which at times works and most of the times does not!) holds ground. What happened next- well with this person gone – sure enough some good clients left and when the rut continued eventually the team lead had also to go!- A complete collapse of a team in a span of 8 months! Coming to think of it all this shit happened for what?- “Extracting fun at a cost of an individual when it was not warranted and when it could have been managed and at it’s best effort stopped!
Another story- An organisation had hired a supposedly smart person for a client facing role. At the beginning everything seemed fine, and in about two months (as client work began and things started to build up)- this person started working from one mistake unto the next- sure enough competency issues were flagged off (which the HR already had flagged off during hiring- but went ahead because the business said, they will manage it!). This all seemed normal until this point, but this where the fun began (at times literally spooking the people around!). This person started a tell-tale predictable absenteeism which was always accompanied by complete communication black out and radio silence! Subsequently every time that this person rejoined duty- it was an all OK and normal one week then again the same story- shocking still were the reasons that this person started to come up with! (when confronted and asked about complete communication black outs and radio silence while being absent!). the reasons ranged from serial stalking to house breaks to SOS from family to threats for ransom- you name it and everything was on the table! Well, I don’t want to make it more dramatic right now! Eventually things were called off and this person decided to move out of the organisation (for everyone’s happiness!) A detailed calm and probing discussion (on the way out-read exit interview) finally gave away a major clue! This person was having an underlying psychological problem- which translated into getting into hallucinations and escapism every time stress or pressure was increased (read normal work pressure) and this was an ailment for which this person had already undergone a comprehensive therapy few years back and this new place had just compounded and brought that back!
Guess what, it is not only Individuals, but also companies and organisations that start collapsing when we fail to read what is hidden in plain sight– as I write this article a successful private bank in India has triggered off a major stock market crash- the bank just collapsed on account of giving bad loans for last few years (bad loans given to supposedly successful business tycoons and their businesses!) well this is an altogether different subject(though similar) and can by itself be a subject for another article!
Well, to end it here, I leave you with thoughts to reflect inwards and see for yourself what is that you are missing in your plain sight – based on what is around you and in front of you- this very moment! For always remember- What we miss in plain sight- comes back to haunt us – now or later- but surely it does- it may be a blunder as simple as a penny or may be measured in terms of millions of dollars- but our oversight eventually ends up costing us and we having to pay the price!– Whether you end up working extra (because your colleague got fired or your investments get messed up- because that finance company holding your savings just went bust!). The point to remember here is- Always seek What seems to be hidden in Plain sight and keep unwanted-uncomfortable surprises at bay!
Ciao form now, have an attentive week ahead, will be back with another piece soon!