Posted by: Matthew Molinari | February 23, 2011

Specialty Medical Chemical (Blog #5)

There was a very interesting dynamic in place at SMC. The feeling that I got was that the employees knew they had a good situation so they were very hesitant to make any waves that might disrupt that.

The path of SMC followed very closely to that of their upper management. The company was not doing poorly, but it wasn’t living up to potential either. The company, and the executives, had become complacent with a system of coasting.

Sure, the performance reviews were all positive and lead to promotions and raises, but they weren’t measuring the right things, if anything at all. This carried over into communication between departments where it seemed like people were afraid to say anything bad because there might be criticism returned.

The most telling part was that SMC was founded by Dr. Winthrop who was smart enough to patent his ideas which “provided a shield from competition”. The employees, and therefore the company, had developed a personality that believed the status quo was good enough.  They had no drive or desire to achieve greatness because by doing nothing, they could be successful as individuals.

Going outside the company to hire Laura, allowed Carl to not only see the personality of the staff but his own as well. By doing this, Carl was able to set up a plan that would motivate the employees to make their personality work for the company rather than against it. In the end, Carl realized he needed to change the entire system at SMC to make it work better and not necessarily change the employees. While he realized some employees needed to go, he found that new positions for them would actually make their contributions improve. SMC had some good people but the system in place wasn’t set up to use them correctly.


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