An allusion to a company’s staff being treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark, covered with dung, and, when grown big enough, canned (fired). The connotation is that the management is making decisions without consulting the staff affected by those decisions, and possibly not even informing the staff until well after such decisions are made.
Strategies to avoid this can include:
Centralisation of Information Technology, Human Resources, Procurement and similar functions.
Short reporting lines.
Decentralised cross functional teams for executing one-time projects and ongoing operations.
Fewer sites and/or movement of staff between sites.
Increased mobility of staff between teams to promote individual and organizational breadth.
Culture of openness and supportive management style driven from the senior management.
Rapid integration of staff after a merger or acquisition.