Small company communication

Subject: Small company communication
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 08:25:12 -0800 (PST)

"krupp, marguerite" wrote ...

> Some companies feel that throwing company-wide parties, Friday beer bashes,
> and "feel-good" events facilitates this communication without having to have
> those "restrictive" procedures in place. WRONG! I'm not a big procedures
> person, but I've seen the balkanization that can happen if there isn't at
> least something in place to make sure that people communicate about their
> interdependencies at work. You don't need an ISO 9000-style structure, but
> good project teams do help.

You're very right, Marguerite, but this is a lot easier said than done.
Establishing communication lines in really 1/2 the story. The other half is the
willingness and capability of the individuals that comprise that company.

I've learned a lot of painful and depressing lessons building my company. One I
learned just recently is that some people, no matter how open the communication
lines may be, are convinced they are working harder and smarter than everybody
else. There are people who are just spoiled brats and think their knowledge
(skills, contribution, etc.) is superior to everybody else's.

Personality and humility are a big part of growing and building an organization
whether it has 10 people or 10,000. Procedures are a good starting point.
They establish a "default" position to fall back upon when disputes arise.
However, the ultimate solution is to groom groups to include people who have
the proper attitude about their job and career.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people, especially in high-tech, who feel
they don't have to work hard to succeed. They envy the rich moguls of the
industry and yearn for their power and prestige. However, these slackers fail
to realize that most moguls got to their position because they busted their
butts working night and day.

Jeff Bezos (CEO of does not sit in his office all day talking with
his friends and "proactively leveraging his team synergies." The guy works 12
hours a day and has been doing so for over 6 years. He has a dumpy office with
a desk made out of a sheet of plywood. Up until a year ago the guy drove a
1994 Honda Accord. This guy is humble and honest - not a flashy, glamours power
hungry tyrant.

So before you write off an organization because they have process problems,
take a look at the personalities around you. Sometimes, the problems are not
the processes but the thick-headed jerks who need to be fired and replaced with
humble, productive, creative, supportive individuals.

Andrew Plato
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