Wednesday 8 December 2010

Enterprise 1.0 - The Dysfunctional Family?

I compared the enterprise to a dysfunctional family a little while ago. As it turns out, there are many, many similarities. Let's see how far I get on this post without writing a book in stead of a post?
  • A lot of employees are like 30-40 year old grown ups still living with their parents. They still let Mom and Dad tell them what to do, how to dress, how to act. Even when they do protest they quickly shut up
  • Attention always goes out to the newly-born, the youngest. They get the shiny toys, the fast promotions, the nice trips
  • The youngest grow the fastest, and at a certain age it just slows down and then stops - seems like all the 'parents' can measure is height?
  • New people that "move in horizontally" seem to get more reward and attention than those present. E.g. 10-year olds 'adopted' get way more rewards and attention than the 'native' 10-year olds - no wonder they cause so much trouble
  • No matter the size of the family, in order to take over charge you have to wait before Mom and Dad both have died - usually that takes a lifetime, no matter how many able people there are. Not surprisingly, people get creative now and then
  • Only if a family gets really big, can one or two brothers or sisters take over Mom's and Dad's tasks. And as soon as they do, the trust shifts from Mom and Dad to them: the extra layer (or rather, wall?) is there and the disconnect is felt
  • A tree uses the old and strong to build its trunk, so the young and fresh can grow on the outside and top of it, and blossom and bear fruit. A family however, like an enterprise, doesn't really start to "use" the young until they're mature - how odd
  • Just like boys get their Dad's attention, and girls their Mom's, the enterprise is divided into tech and business people, or workforce and sales force, or desk-people and field service - and they never get along
  • How is it that you can so clearly see your brother or sister wrapping your Mom or Dad around their finger, but they don't? In the enterprise, beauty also is in the eye of the beholder
  • When young, it matters what people say. When old, older and even when oldest, it seems that all that matters is how they say it - whatever happened to the value of content along the way?
  • When grown up, you're expected to leave the house - but they only make you do so if they really dislike you. Yet, if you stay, you end up as part of the furniture
The really awkward thing is, that in the end you'll believe everything Mom and Dad, or management, tell you - as long as you live under their roof. It isn't until after you've left, that you'll open your eyes

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