” The ticking time bomb scenario”

For this last case, I’m now going to tell you about myself, as this situation happened to me.

As an intern, I was lucky enough to work in prestigious pharmaceutical laboratories, which have and will always have extremely high stakes. Obviously, I’m aware of the rumors that the labs are financial empires, but I can assure you that the sums invested in research remain at the service of science and serious diseases.
It all began in 2014, when my employer at the time decided to sell part of his business to a competitor. From then on, I was overcome by a feeling of insecurity, which led me to set up my own company (Rinaldi Consulting). As I a lot of late holidays, I made the most of it and I tried my hand at the market, and I must say, business was going quite well. In December 2014, my soon-to-be employer offered me a tremendous opportunity: to digitally internalise the management of the joint venture over a two-year period. It was a huge challenge, and I was delighted to be able to bring my talent to bear on a multi-billion-dollar challenge. So I put all my energy into it and spent sleepless nights digging into the subject.

The experience proved to be a great success and became a benchmark within the company. I found myself involved in the following programmes: to be responsible for ensuring the quality of global and regional data enabling the automatic creation of strategic reports addressed to the highest positions in the company.
Everything was going very well. But… I couldn’t imagine for a single second that a “BLOCKER”, lurking in the background, would put so much energy into destroying me. Yes, I think the word ‘destruction’ is appropriate given the means employed.

It’s quite ironic, because I knew this “BLOCKER” from the start. They knew how to put me at ease and repeatedly asked me to help them with their own business. I’ve always been a kind-hearted person and I believe in uplifting people by helping them, so I didn’t hesitate at all to offer this person assistance, as, after all, we were working for the same company. By then, I had no idea that this same person would become my “BLOCKER” a few years later.

At that time, I was responsible for setting up a global PMO for the group’s main production plants. Being accustomed to this type of assignment, I threw myself wholeheartedly into the project and my manager was delighted with the rapid success, when suddenly… the “BLOCKER” turned up. Alleging a pseudo-overlap between our activities, the “BLOCKER” then devoted considerable energy to stopping us; exhausted, I finally understood what was going on…

In 2014, the “BLOCKER” was consulted about bringing the change in-house, but as he lacked technical skills, he replied that it would take almost a year to get anything reliable from external consultants. I eventually managed to do this in just a few months… From then on, the “BLOCKER” felt humiliated and was planning his revenge. How absurd, don’t you agree? For your information, the argument was so serious, and the means used so inappropriate, that my manager at the time very quickly realised what was happening and alerted the HR department so that the “BLOCKER” was permanently excluded from our business and forbidden to contact us. This story affected me deeply and this feeling of utter incomprehension kept me awake for several nights.


I won’t say I have compiled an exhaustive list of “BLOCKERS”, but rather I have highlighted a few practices that we might consider to be toxic within companies. Indeed, when self-interest prevails over common interests, the victims of “BLOCKERS” must really be given the opportunity to be heard quickly to find a way out of this predicament.
From my point of view, the “BLOCKER” technique generally focuses on the following points:

  • Protecting their personal interests as much as possible
  • Using underhand means to discredit you
  • Harass their prey so that they lose confidence in themselves.

The effects can be considerably destructive, both for the individual who suffers and for the company which, unaware of the situation, may in turn lose fantastic opportunities for economic progress (performance) and social progress (corporate culture).
Maturity for a company means, of course, to achieve a complex combination of profitability, growth and innovation. But it also means to listen to its driving forces, which form a fragile ecosystem that remains the key to success: without people, there can be no success.
It is important, however, to put out a warning. “BLOCKERS” are not necessarily people whose ideas clash with yours. It is very important, beforehand, to check with your company that your point of view is perfectly in line with its strategy, that it brings something significant in terms of long-term profitability while remaining also in line with its culture.