Today I had a pop-in visit to my office by Steve Todd (photo below). We caught up on a few subjects and, like most of my visits with Steve, our time ended with new ideas and execution plans.
Some time after he left, I glanced at the Tweet stream about EMC today, and saw a post he wrote for Vault.com being promoted like crazy (by entities not affiliated with EMC.)
I wondered what it was all about and found this (excerpts pasted below the photo). It is filled with words people like me love to read. And yet, funny enough, Steve never mentioned it to me.
THAT, is how it works in the ideal world!! "That," of course, being the notion that it becomes second nature for your people to comment favorably on their jobs and their workplace culture. ... Nothing to write home about. Nothing special enough to call attention to the "Polly" at your company. Just another day ...
How to Find Engaging High-Tech Careers
One of the long-held stereotypes of high-tech engineering jobs is that of a cave troll typing away in a basement cubicle, sacrificing personal time in order to hit impossible deadlines. This image extends to the large corporations that value productivity, obedience, diligence, and intellect above all else.
Contrast this stereotype with the 21st century view of how to stimulate innovation in large corporations: passion, creativity, and initiative. According to Gary Hamel, these traits do not necessarily replace obedience, diligence, and intellect; they complement them.
When interviewing for a high-tech position, you would do well to uncover how far your potential employer has come in the practice of stimulating employee initiative. ... Corporations need productive employees to generate revenue. They also need creative employees that take the initiative to guide their teams into the future while simultaneously delivering upon their commitments. There are two lines of questioning that will help you assess the culture of your potential new team. [Go to Vault to read these!]... I work for a large, multi-national corporation (EMC) that is currently in the midst of a shift to a 21st century management style. My company sponsors global idea contests for all employees. I am also starting to see contests held within individual business units. Coding challenges are a part of the corporate experience. Knowledge transfer across geographies is emphasized. Employees and local universities are also encouraged to lecture on their area of expertise.
Beware the answer that rings of “we work hard, all day, all the time”, and/or “we don’t have time for that stuff”. If you have your mind set on the practice of innovation, this particular company may not be the one for you.
However, if you find ready answers to your questions, you have likely found a corporation that “gets it”. There’s a good chance that accepting a job offer will result in the opportunity to combine productivity and initiative.
-Posted by Steve Todd, EMC Distinguished Engineer. Read more of Steve’s posts on careers in the tech field on his Innovate with Influence blog on Vault.
----------------- Talk Back -----------------
I've blogged before that I think "employees are the new brand spend." All we have to do is get out of the way a little. Stop attempting to control it all, approve it all, and let them speak. They might just do a really great job.
(Your people are, after all, well educated adults who really don't want to be fired, or to say something you would absolutely hate. )
Yes? No? Thoughts?