Knowledge IS Power

At work, I made knowledge easily accessible to the front line workers, basically giving them the power to do their job better. This transfer of power made the dept run better than it ever had, but the main effect was that it transferred knowledge, AKA power, away from the middle managers.

Threatened Middle Managers (TMM because threatened middle managers is way too much typing) need to feel, well, needed. If they aren’t doing busy work, answering the same questions over and over again, day in and day out for like, DECADES, they start to feel vulnerable. Like maybe they aren’t needed. And, without a doubt, TMMs certainly don’t like some low level front line worker upstaging them. A knowledgeable underling cannot shift the balance of power around and must be stopped at all costs.

Predictably, there was sabotage. The TMM is a hissing, snarling racoon when cornered in the dumpster of progress. They will do ANYTHING to protect their cushy position, except maybe, embrace change. If there is anything I’ve learned in the corporate world, TMMs do not like easy. Their whole identity is based on the concept of complicated. If systems or measures are implemented to prevent complicated from even happening in the first place, the TMM is lost, but also angry.

Of course that could just be the selfish thinking of some low level front line worker who rose above their station.

I try to tell myself that this is just par for the course in a company that is a multilayered wedding cake of dysfunction, incompetence and toxicity and I should not have, like, feelings. As much as I like telling myself I am dead inside, I am upset. I took a messed up system and turned it into something better. Now the knowledge is being destroyed with a wrecking ball not because it didn’t work, but because someone was threatened by innovation and made sure the innovation stopped by getting rid of the innovator.

I know I should get over it and not think too much about it. The company is circling the drain and headed for Chapter 15. In the long run, the TMM won the battle but ultimately will lose the war and I will have moved on. Moving on is the hardest part I guess. No insight or wisdom here, just pushing through the feelings of disappointment.

I am reluctant to do this again as I am 0/3 in this department. That’s right, this has happened before. Two companies, three projects, all knocked down brick by brick by a few TMMs.

I must train myself to not get attached to any project. It’s not a person, or a fluffy puppy, it’s millions of zeros and ones coded onto a screen to convey information. Occasionally, that code is a picture of a fluffy puppy.

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