*sigh* I attempted PD yesterday (knowing what I was doing), and failed...
I got summoned to have a meeting with a new member of our company's board of directors; I thought it was going to be 1-on-1 but the CEO and the controller were in the meeting. I decided that I'd still get across several of the points that I would have without them. I pointed out that we hadn't hired any new people, when we were shorthanded to begin with and lost several. I pointed out that we needed new computer hardware but there were long delays in getting it. So I got to watch the CEO and the controller fall all over themselves justifying why we didn't have new people and new hardware. (The people issue is critical, when your chief tech guy is working 18 hour days and 70 hour weeks and doing tasks that a couple of juniors should be doing, you've got problems. When he's the only person with deep technical knowledge because everyone else has left, you're skiing Bandini Mountain
I also pointed out, politely, that nobody in management really had any experience doing the kind of work that we do. They have lots of experience at lots of things, some even related to what we do, but I'm having to teach them (when they are teachable, see my post about EVP above.) (As an analogy, think of a company that builds custom race cars for one driver, and an auto company that builds sedans that have to satisfy lots of customers, and have to produce a new model with regularity each year. I know how to run the auto company, but everybody else sort-of knows how to build race cars. There's an overlap, but some of the basic approaches are very different.) The CEO even asked me about EVP and I damned him with very faint praise. In other words, in 15 minutes I pretty much called out the entire executive suite as incompetent and unqualified. I didn't use any bad words or call people names, but it would be hard to miss my points. newBoD seemed to get it, based on the questions he asked me.
You'd think that I would be looking for a new job today, wouldn't you?
Nope. The CEO thanked
me for what I said! Because he only heard the tiny bits that sort-of supported his grand schemes. Schemes that newBoD said, in front of all of us, were probably a bad idea. So I failed in my attempt to commit PD. Where I hope I succeeded is in getting to someone who understands the problems and has some influence.
(As an aside, I heard from a couple of people that EVP tried to throw me under the bus over an issue that was nobody's direct fault. Fortunately, that went over like a lead balloon.)