Hello everyone,
I have long wanted to speak out about a painful business phenomenon that many of my colleagues and friends have had to deal with and face. I’m sure that many of you will recognise yourselves in what I’m about to tell you and that it’s important to identify this phenomenon well in advance in order to avoid facing the worst experience.
We all know that life in companies is not a smooth ride (or, as the French would say, “…un long fleuve tranquille” in reference to a famous movie that has become a cultural reference) , and that employees often have to defend their point of view in order to carry out the mission they have been given. Nevertheless, despite everyone’s motivation to persuade the others that they do better, it is reasonable to hope that these exchanges can take place in a free, intelligent and constructive atmosphere. The ultimate goal is to make progress for the company they work for and, above all, that pays their wages. Presented like this, the “ecosystem” seems simple, pragmatic, efficient and above all, set with benevolence.
However, a grain of sand remains in this hypothesis: the human factor. Although humans can be capable of doing the best for themselves and their fellow human beings, they may be, unfortunately, the cause of the well-known phenomenon I want to talk to you about. Let’s call it the “BLOCKER”.
It is now necessary to describe this “BLOCKER” through real-life examples. I would like to make it clear that each case will remain anonymised, but verified as being real. They are not the fruit of personal resentment, but of my own experience.


“I’m going to help you”…

This first experiment is based on a friend who has recently joined a large international group. We’ll call her Lisa.
Lisa has a great deal of experience, is not a junior, and has a very open mind due to her background. She knows all the international codes of “savoir vivre together” and is gifted with a strong analytical and adaptive mind. Despite these assets, Lisa, very quickly, finds herself in a tricky situation that calls into question her achievements and her ability to take on the mission for which she has recently been recruited. Yet, though Lisa had followed the recommendations of one of her colleagues, she couldn’t understand why her annual objectives review was so negative. She tried several times to introduce new proven concepts that had been tried and tested elsewhere, but funnily enough, this seemingly benevolent colleague kept on rejecting all of them, claiming that they were not in line with the company’s strategy.
Lisa tends to believe in the kind and team-oriented spirit of her colleagues. Eventually, she was given the opportunity to share her experience and unravel the phenomenon. This colleague was a “BLOCKER”! Indeed, Lisa was about to change a few practices which would have challenged the laid-back way of working of that colleague who strove to make their employer believe that the subject was terribly complicated, and that it required a lot of resources and time. But the “BLOCKER” was also working in the shadows, because in addition to giving their new colleague bad advice, they also used to badmouth Lisa to her manager in private.
Yet, Lisa had no intention of disrupting the group, but simply wanted to make a few changes, enabling the team to work more efficiently, faster and with greater recognition within the company, given their ability to deliver more, without altering workloads. This was a fair and simple new method in itself, which her employer had actually asked for.
The “BLOCKER” has now been identified and excluded from the team by their management, and Lisa serves as a mentor in her company, working to improve the process for which she is skilled. There have been many successes. Personally, I wish the “BLOCKER” all the best in his new role.
So, what do you think about it?