I give myself a solid C for my reactions to these kinds of events. I left one of the above companies, refused to consult to another and worked the halls for anyone who would listen with yet another. But I always drew a line in the sand that was, ultimately, self-serving.
I left one company for a better company; walked away from a consulting gig that would have been incredibly frustrating and borderline fraudulent; and stopped well short of mining or barb-wiring the halls instead doing my dirty work over fancy, comfortable breakfasts, lunches and dinners (that the company paid for).
So what am I suggesting?
Guerilla warfare. Im recommending that we attack stupid, greedy, deranged executives with every weapon we can find.
Frontal attacks as well as rear action strategies are equally effective. If the culture is openly punitive, then frontal attacks may be too dangerous. So attack from the rear: undermine the stupidity, discredit the source and end-run the decision-makers.
Elevate the debate (does the Board of Directors know whats going on?). Do what it takes to shine a very bright light on stupidity, arrogance and personal greed.
Some of you will see this as treason, demeaning and cynical. But the fact is that really stupid decisions can actually threaten the survival of a company. Hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars are often at stake.
Should we keep our mouths shut? Or should we fight fire with fire? Is it about the individuals you, me and the idiots or the company and the jobs, products and services it provides? You decide.