Saturday, March 26, 2005

my ideal start-up..

as i was saying...if i'd have my way...i hope to build a company where people actually enjoy coming to work...that fun is a big factor and be treated seriously by the management...i believe that culture is a company's most important asset...not technology know-how, not financial soundness, not even top management...but a strong and meaningful cultre...i guess i'm relly influenced by our experience serving in ITC where my commander (COL Yeo Eidik, now Commander of commando) brought in this Learning Organization concept, which is largely based on the book "The Fifth Discipline" by Peter Senge of MIT's Sloan...anyway, my commander is quite possibly the only person I've met (personally) in my life that deserves to be called 'wise'...he has the foresight to bring in a untested contemporary management concept and apply it to a rigid regimental setting...frankly speakin i thought it was al wayang and bull shit in the beginning...but the changes were there for everyone to see...i think in essence the 'fifth discpline' is just another managament jargan...but Peter Senge did a great job vocalising some of the most basic age-old management principle...and that change of mindset in the people in my unit was so's really something you have to be involved to really absorb what this subtle change of perception and hence culture has on the whole organization..
i aint sayin that there's a universal culture tat works for all companies...certain operation, such as in a military setting, require a different set of guiding values and culture...i guess it does not depend as much on wat the values or culture is...but rather how deeply these values are respected and treasured by those involved in the tat extent, 3M, HP (at least in the older days), GE, Apple and IDEO (my fav company) has done a great job at tat...of course ppl argue tat they have good strategy and finance plannin and operational efficiency etc...but all these in my opinion come after the culture...
well then wat kind of culture do i wan my start-up to have...this gets tricky cos i think diff form of culture is required at different stages of a company as it grows...i'd very much like mine, especially for a tech compnay, to value creativity...i once attended this awesome creativity course (where i think i learn more in those 3 days than i've leant in a whole yr in college) and the guy teachin the course mentioned something abt companies actually havin a CCO...a Chief Creativty Officer...BANG! i love that idea...i mean, if a company is really interested in creativity...then this post is a testimony of the company's commitment to creativity...
hmm..i'd also wanna have a company where employees can take 2-3 week consecutive leave and get company's sponsorship if they're goin on comm service'd be even more ideal if they should collaborate and organize with others within the company to organize such awareness...loyalty to organization...personal development...there's so much that such trips can do for a regular worker...of course it'd be immensely difficult to pull this one off...but somehow i think it's possible...and i kno that some smaller companies are doin similar things...personally i think tat corporate donation doesn't do much, from the company's point of view, possibly a tool of 'effective' tax management...if that can be used for initiatives within the company's employees...the benefits are far-reaching..
i've also thought alot about job security and organization loyalty...i think in the old days and in certain culture (asian countries like japan, korea)...employee's loyalty is a HUGE plus...though this might not be sustainable now with a global economy...this has direct implication for the kind of company that i aspire to build...if culture, as i said, is the organization's main'd be extremely hard to exercise this philosophy in today's context...workforce is much more mobile while market fluctuation often exert swings that jeopardize a company's standing with its principle...i mean...i think a great company is a lean and swift company...but tat will also mean sackin people when tat's freakin tough to do...but there's probably no escape from it...job performance is no longer the only valid reason for layoffs...i guess the best thing to do is to remind everyone tat the job is never gauranteed...i dunno how tactfully one can bring the oint across without affectin morale...tat'd be a challenge for a manager..
i guess i sld stop my rambling...i actually have lots more thoughts on organizaiton and how to run a company...but everything's comin out randomly withou any structure...messy...hmm

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