Well congratulations I guess for still having a functioning organisation with a product at the end of it.

But.

Reading about the Years and Years Spent Going Down The Rabbithole made by heart sink.

Let’s be fair: This Happens. Very Frequently.

Organisation buy into attribution theory and ascribe the perfectly predictable outcomes of just Getting A Little Work Done (TM) to Magic People.

It sounds like Rick was left twisting without credible technical supervision or oversight for years at a time.

Think about that, on a planet with billions of inhabitants.

Even the basic discipline: “which All Geniuses Should Know” of holding yourself accountable to “Future You” was overlooked by Rick (according to this account).

I have seen this, do see this and will see this again.

Firing Rick was the penultimate bad outcome, over letting him complete burning the house to the ground.

“Best Decision” ? Only once all the other good decisions have been assiduously overlooked.

Disclaimer: I am not aiming to be derogatory to you — something got done, no-one is perfect or gifted with infallible insight or the wisdom of the ages.

Confession time: I have been trapped in a problem just like Rick’s, having taken over from the prior Ricks.

My interest is in how much earlier can the organisation recognise these patterns and nip this behaviours in the bud?

I don’t have an easy answers, but I can point to some converse behaviours (which pace is not a proof) and suggest that eradicating those might help.

  • Listening to the loudest voices
  • Putting people into the “best at X” slot; let no-one else do “X”
  • Decisions made in camera by committee
  • Never Take Notes Or Have A Written Agenda
  • Avoid collecting facts in advance at all costs
  • Treat Collective Decision Making like a game
  • Put Personal Agendas First. Always

I realise some of the above are virtually policy at some places.

I would respectfully suggest that any success those places are having is unrelated to this kind of approach and are in fact due to other unacknowledged factors.

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