Background: This text originally came in as a comment to Forrester experiences analyst layoffs. Because of the last line, I did not approve the comment leaving it as a private communication to SageCircle. But I did tweet that someone had sent along a very nice compliment for Merv Adrian. That triggered this comment to the original (and not published) comment: “Saw your tweet. Oops. sorry. meant keep IP confidential. pls reveal details. =)” So with that permission from the author, we are now publishing his or her comment. However, rather than a comment I decided to elevate it to a full post. BTW, you can follow Merv Adrian on Twitter at www.twitter.com/merv.
It is truly sad to say good-bye to co-workers especially during a lay off.. I will miss each person who has left. But it is quite a travesty when you lay off someone who is an icon, someone who makes a big difference in everyone’s lives, and someone who has had the company’s best interest at heart at all times. I have struggled to tell this story about my team and the more I wait, the more I regret it. I must tell. I shall share. I now reveal.So I say this with great conviction: “It is unconscionable for Forrester to lay off Mervyn T. Adrian without a proper explanation to our clients and our employees”
I was there when we first bought Giga. It was a scary time like now. The Internet bubble had burst. We had finished 2 rounds of layoffs. Our business was tanking. Our stock in the toilet.
When we bought Giga, we were nervous. Our first reaction was who are all these gray hairs? We were all much younger. Why’s everyone a VP? We only had principal analysts as the highest title and there were only 2 or 3 of those. Would we get along with these old farts? They seem crotchety and nerdy. How come they all work from home? We lived in a must show up to HQ culture.
But throughout the acquisition, this bubbly gentleman would reach out. He showed us how to work together. He showed us the value of an inquiry to clients. He showed us the how to collaborate across teams. He would reach out and mentor new analysts. He would tell it to us like it was despite any management pat answer. He showed us that analysts are people too. He taught us how to work with those sometimes “pesky” AR people. He navigated the vendors. He got us to sing along with the Forrester band. He brought a strong sense of ethics. He was part of the team that created a smooth acquisition. Don’t get me wrong. He made his share of mistake and then owned up.
But most importantly… he valued us as individuals. He encouraged us to build relationships. He celebrated our successes. He cherished this family we call Forrester.
About 2 years ago, we moved to our current role based research model. Many of us were skeptical. Yet, he was one of the first to embrace the Technology Industry role group. He was an evangelist and recruited many of us to join. He put down his management hat and reemerged in the analyst ranks.
After putting his heart and soul into this new structure, he continued to face challenges from our leadership. From our perspective we feel that despite his best efforts, he faced a manager that lacked experience and was insecure and he faced a managing director that lived in an ivory tower but was best friends with the COO. He was unable to make headway to help them understand what vendors sought from us. what was the true value. In any case, he still gave his best.
Now this may sound like a eulogy. And, well, frankly, it is. We have lost someone at Forrester who was treasured by many of our colleagues and most of all our clients. There may be many reasons in a layoff, but from my vantage point, this is the worst kind – one with no logical explanation other than dumb politics.
I encourage those who know Merv and his work to send a letter to your sales rep, my research leadership team, and even the big Kahuna, George himself. We hear that the letters are already coming but keep sending them. Only do this if you mean it. Tell them why this is a mistake. Tell them about your Merv story. Share with them why this makes no sense.
We know its water over the bridge. We doubt they would bring him back. We can only imagine that he would come back if asked. But its worth a try and its worth making the point. Individuals do matter and people like Merv are special. You just don’t treat people like this and get away with it!
Meanwhile give him your business. He’s hung out his own shingle as an independent and it doesn’t matter where he works. It’s still the same Merv.
Conscience relieved analyst,
p.s. Carter, please keep this confidential. I don’t want to end up on the layoff section of your blog.
Editor’s Note: I was subsequently given permission by the commenter to post this.