There are several key things that I look for in a job and the company I work for. I may dig in more on the others, but for now I want to describe this concept of a Victimization Ratio (VR) as I have had some recent run-ins here.
Basically the idea is this:
Number of Problems you are powerless to solve
Total Number of Problems you are impacted by
So if you work in an environment where you can point out 10 problems, but are only capable/empowered to solve 4 of them (so 6 you are powerless on), your victimization ratio is:
6 Problems you are powerless to solve
10 Total Problems
Or 60%. That is a job I would easily leave. I have told my management chain that I love to solve problems and hate being a complainer. So if I am in a situation where all I can do is bitch, I will leave that job.
By my own estimation, my current job is somewhere around 10-20% VR. This of course excludes all those problems that are common across Microsoft (the curve, salary competitiveness, stock performance) as I intend to continue to work at MS until I truly lose faith MS can become the Next Microsoft.
My most recent example of a powerless problem became clear in a meeting I had with a GM from another division. It boiled down to the GM telling me we can’t hold this VP accountable for honesty and integrity. Because of whatever history this GM had in the company (7 years) this problem would exist continuously and we should just deal with it. I am no GM, but if I ever get there and consider myself powerless to affect change, well, what good would I be? I have an email out to this GM’s boss to see if it’s a shared opinion or if we do hold execs accountable.
Call me naïve, but I like to think we can identify problems and leverage the management team to help solve them. I think within my team we are doing that and I hope for every 10 problems brought to my attention or that I identify, we can solve 8 of them at least.
So what's the solution? To me, we need to truly enable each person within the company to identify these problems, and hold their own manager accountable to fix it or ride it up the chain. To see LisaB "getting it" and making herself accountable for those 5 items she highlighted in her talk makes me think we just need more of that. We did this with Customer and Partner feedback, next step is Employee...
Feel free to use the comments to share your powerless problems if you wish.
(cross-posted at http://spaces.msn.com/nextmsft)