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Calvin McCarter has a good comment on the unintended consequences of internal training programs:

Although the founders weren't laid off, they founded Health-Ade Kombucha in 2012 while at GSK when it was going through a series of lay-offs. Daina Trout and Vanessa Dew were both in sales at GSK, and in the early 2010s it was struggling to adjust to competition from generics. GSK notoriously mismanaged the process in 2010 by laying off sales reps just days after promising no layoffs at their sales convention: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/glaxosmithkline-layoffs-follow-promise-of-no-cuts-at-national-sales-meeting/

To improve morale and innovation, GSK started a rotational innovation / leadership program that Daina went through. However, after having this inspirational confidence-building experience, she was sent back to her old job in sales. The rotational program and repeated layoffs were both bad for employee morale by bringing "false dawns" followed by disappointment. Having said that, you might say that GSK's choices did in fact build confidence and innovation, but only in ways that didn't benefit GSK itself.

Daine Trout's interview on the How I Built It podcast is great btw: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/25/916944612/health-ade-kombucha-daina-trout

Big companies will sometimes try to create some kind of structure to provide upward mobility to their most promising new recruits. But that either requires the company to be growing enough that there are new responsibilities for rising stars, or to have high turnover in middle management so there's room to promote new people to replace the ones who leave. Neither of those is easy, and companies that aren't growing much but are constantly ranking and yanking can be stressful places to work.

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  1. Twitter used to have a view where your timeline could show tweets as well as replies, even when you weren't following both sides of the conversation. Although though this sounds like a completely unusable format, about as informative as sprinting through a cocktail party, and even though almost nobody used it, people still complained when it went away.