Growth and Maturity Human Capital

Why do organizations drive away their best people?

We all tend to form relationships at the level of our emotional immaturity. Sometimes individuals regress in their maturity or fail to mature. When this happens, they risk undermining their most important relationships. Organizations can suffer from the same problem. Organizations drive away their best people when the organization regresses or fails to mature.

Immature organizations drive away their best people

Relationships of all kinds have a way of cycling into and out of our lives. We meet through some degree of randomness. A connection happens that is worth maintaining. We enjoy some miles of life’s journey together. And whether gradually or all at once, we ultimately part ways.

The level of immaturity that we are willing to tolerate defines our relationships. We are often unaware of immaturity in ourselves and in those around us. Perhaps we see it, and we tolerate it because we don’t understand how it is holding us back. But as we mature, we become more aware of immaturity and its consequences in ourselves and others. This awareness allows us to establish healthier boundaries about what we are unwilling to tolerate.

An organization must mature fast enough to keep up with its best and brightest people, otherwise they will move on. They will not want to remain stuck at the organization’s level of immaturity. They must leave an organization that is stuck in immature practices and behaviors, otherwise they cannot continue to mature.

And when an organization regresses in maturity, it will retain only the people who are immature enough to remain indifferent to its backsliding. Its best and brightest people will stick to their healthier, more-mature boundaries and choose to leave.

Why don’t these people stay and become change agents to help the organization mature? Two reasons:

  1. They’ve probably already tried that, and
  2. It’s probably not their job in the first place.

When we see organizations drive away their best people, immaturity is often to blame.