Miracles happen, people change. But these two things have yet to materialize in the animal nutrition business in which I have been engaged in for the past 30 years, under any and all roles I have played. I write this blog having specific people in my mind, and they are not coming from just one company or even one continent, but these comments apply to all of us.
In my experience, from the U.S. to Europe to Asia, people like to remain within their comfort zone and they do so even if they are faced with loss of employment. If your company is cost/price oriented and you are a seller of added value, then there is no way, in my experience, you can change your employer (this goes for you, Wil). It goes the other way around, too: If you find yourself working for an added-value employer and you are geared toward selling commodities (Gary), then you know this is not the right company for you, and you better change quickly. (Gary did that, and he remains happy.)
Lamentably, many people, including myself, often find themselves locked into business relationships that are hard to break. Being employed full time as opposed to being a freelance adviser is the same – it is only the terms of payment that change. In either case, there must be a basic match between the two parties or the “marriage” will end up in a bitter divorce and/or mutual ruination. Or, you can keep trying to change the other party (Billy), but the chances are slim, unless you change too. (Billy is working on it.)
Now, don’t take this as an excuse to resign or start firing people tomorrow morning. You will not find paradise next door, no matter what those sirens keep singing to you. All companies are full of problems. All humans are full of problems, too. What I suggest is to evolve, not simply change. Find something within your company or find someone among your employees that can do something different more efficiently. I think there is a book about someone who moved some cheese around and some rats died whereas others started looking for food elsewhere. So, either move that cheese or start looking for something else to gnaw at.