Unresolved Resentment

This is the first part of many in the Series of the Dream Team of Tech

In the heart of the bustling German IT organization, a tale of knowledge and resentment unfolded within the transportation industry team. It all began with a cry for help.

Luis, the venerable sage of enterprise resource planning, found himself drowning in a sea of tasks. With almost 53 years of experience in the company, he was a technical luminary, particularly in matters concerning enterprise resource planning. His dedication knew no bounds, often seeing him labor away for up to 12 hours a day, pushing the boundaries of his well-being. Luis thrived in his chosen universe, where his work was executed with flawless precision and efficiency, at least that was how he saw things. Yet, beneath this facade of tireless commitment lay a formidable weakness—he struggled to share his wealth of knowledge and illuminate the path for others. Responsibility for ERP projects was his forte, but when it came to the unglamorous world of infrastructure and maintaining what has been built, he was notably disinterested.

Enter Alf, the 34-year-old Oracle database engineer who had recently joined the team. Alf possessed a remarkable adaptability and an eagerness to contribute wherever his skills were needed, provided it made sense for the company. He arrived with the hope of learning from seasoned experts like Luis and enlarging his knowledge besides the database part. However, this hope quickly soured into resentment.

The anticipated onboarding meeting between Luis and Alf, a crucial step in Alf’s journey toward absorbing Luis’s expertise in enterprise resource planning, never materialized. Days turned into weeks, and Alf’s initial anticipation transformed into frustration. He watched as Luis carried on with his solitary, almost hermit-like approach to work, building an impenetrable wall around his knowledge.

A disconcerting cycle was taking shape. Alf, tasked with understanding the intricacies of enterprise resource planning, felt increasingly isolated and unsupported. He yearned for guidance but received none. The resentment, initially subtle, grew into a smoldering fire of discontent. He just wanted to be part of a team and be treated like one. From Alf’s perspective, Luis was the gatekeeper of knowledge, possessing the keys to the kingdom, yet adamantly refusing to unlock its treasures.

Luis, on the other hand, felt Alf’s growing disdain but couldn’t fathom its source. In his dedication to his craft, he was blind to the ripple effect of his isolation on the team. This growing rift festered, poisoning the team’s atmosphere. Projects suffered, and morale plummeted as the team’s unity continued to unravel.

As days turned into the first week and resentment continued to fester, the manager faced a daunting question: What should I do now?

Would you have intervened to facilitate the knowledge transfer, as the manager had initially intended, or would you have explored alternative avenues to bridge the ever-widening chasm between Luis and Alf?

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