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Showing posts from November, 2003

Write as clearly as you think (I'll take what I can get).

I have found my new Style Bible.

Mother, brother, sisters, and me

(Cross-posted to Applied Laziness. Look there for more.)

Every company is, in essence, an extended family. We have the parental figures, the sibling rivalries, and the uncle no one likes to talk about. We also have all of the emotional connections that people used to form only with family and neighbors. Some companies embrace this fact, creating an “Us against the world” mentality, or welcoming their new employees into “the Globalcorp family.” Other companies try to “keep things on a professional level,” maintaining that employment is nothing more than a fiscal contract to provide labor in return for wages, and it’s never personal.

The fact is, it’s impossible for work to not be personal. People are emotional creatures, instinctively seeking connections with everyone we meet. It is impossible to spend 8 (or more) hours per day with a group of people and not form a bond with them, which is why it is ludicrous to me to see managers and human resource professionals try to deny this…
The other day, I heard this quote from the new VP of Product Development at a software company:

"I fully expect that 75% of the engineers working here today will leave, because this place isn't a country club anymore."

And this man is in charge of software development!

Now, I will grant you that the company where he now works once had a reputation for having achieved the pinnacle of "work hard, play hard" existence, with flexible hours, foosball tables, and an emphasis on having fun at work. During the gloriously excessive dot-com boom, this company prided itself on throwing the best parties around (“Not the most expensive, just the best”).

The thing is, though, all those flexible hours usually added up to far more than 40 per week, and this company’s engineers built the most innovative software products in their space. They also managed to fend off bigger and richer rivals and stay six months to a year ahead of fierce competition for more than five years. …
Thought for the Day:

"Common wisdom" is occasionally the former, rarely the latter, and often neither.