Freedom of expression and free speech

There is legislation in Sweden in place to protect freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of public meetings. There is also legislation covering Human Rights, in conventions signed by Sweden. Few of those legislations, conventions or frameworks are protected by police and politicians in Sweden today. It’s therefore, even in the case of  expressing mainstream opinions, not advisable to write about politics or to meet with anyone one would like to talk to, or challenge. I’ve decided to not write about a lot of things because times will become much worse when it comes to freedom in Sweden. Sweden is rapidly drifting towards an authoritarian society where everyone and everything is totally controlled and audited in real time no matter who you are and what you are doing. Whatever anyone does, could be tweaked and remade and interpreted to order in scenarios where someone is targeted by known or unknown forces doing politics. Being silent is the new freedom of expression.

Acquisitions and mergers

This is just a story. It’s not important if it’s true or if it’s a mix of fiction and reality. Or if it’s entirely made up. It’s just a friendly reminder about the importance of due diligence, and the fact that responsibility is a two-way thing.  I did get some inspiration from Harvard Business Review, and from many other sources in my everyday life.

 

So, the story goes like this: Once upon a time a manager and sole owner of a midsize IT consultancy with some 100+ employees were asked by a global enterprise in Asia if he wanted to sell his company to them. Times were good, a good price was offered, and a merger and acquisition was done. The consultancy did fit perfect into the huge enterprise because the midsize IT consultancy had the consultants and the large Asian enterprise had some huge customers on outsourcing contracts and some hardware and software sales.

Enter new management enrolled by the big Asian enterprise. The due diligence had failed. The books were fixed and cooked, and the seller – the sole owner and manager, escapes his native country with all the money. Including the part that should have ended up in the tax authorities coffers. It turns out that the previous management team had been involved in fraud and economic negligence. This manager did realize that, and the only way to avoid being sued and ending up in court, and probably jail – was to pack the bags and leave.

The previous management team was still in the company, and an internal battle ensued. Some of them left soon, others later. Some new managers became victims of the battle that followed, as well. Not always in a fair way, because very few people, that includes the bad guys in this story, are willing to admit shortcomings or involvement in situations like this.

What happened after that is the main point of this short story. The management that had been involved in the fraud and negligence found new jobs in the same industry. And they were all very reluctant to recruit people from the company they left. The reason is obvious: they did not want anyone who knew their background to get close to them or their organization. The word would soon spread about what had happened. People who applied for a job, many years after this was a current affair, would be turned away, even if they had been employed a long time after this chain-of-event. Little did they know why, and how the aftermath of others dishonesty can affect others in a ripple effect that can last a very long time, and cause discomfort for many unsuspecting and honest people.  And as far as I know, some of those that were involved, are now high-ranking managers at their current employers, who knows nothing about the inner workings of their decision-making in regards of new recruits, or even requests for pushing for redundancies.

 

And then of course, tools for bad guys for keeping up the facade can include spreading rumours, slandering, false warnings and outright false accusations of crimes. There is no limits for criminals when they need to get away from their crimes.

Picking the wrong company can be devastating, and you might even not understand why things can go horribly wrong even if you deliver what you are employed to deliver. Employment is a deal with two parties involved, make sure to make your research properly.