What bunker mentality and management can do to an organization.

Q. So what did you learn about large corporations?

A. Two really key things. One was that insecurity is incredibly damaging in a corporate environment. You end up making really poor decisions, a lot of things you do are based on fear, and eventually it will fail. When people are playing defense and they’re primarily focused on their own jobs, it ultimately ends up being a sort of losing strategy.

The second thing is that there’s a lot of time wasted in conversations that don’t happen face-to-face. When there are backroom conversations and dealings — as opposed to direct conversations — it’s less efficient and you get poorer outcomes. People could spend weeks building these political coalitions rather than just having a direct conversation.

The observation about back-room dealing rang true in my working life and still rings true for me today. I'd like to know whether the formal leaders of District 27 Toastmasters are aware of their members' needs and if they even care about them.