Thursday, October 28, 2010

View from the other side ... how do u like their company ??

Recently i came across this talk bye Joseph Nye on power equation , which led me into thinking how closely this maps to that most favourite grouse of ours(techies) viz. work culture at our places of work. An ideal place of work should be based on the 3 principles of a) Compassion b) Passion and their natural consequence c) Innovation.
a) Compassion - is at the root of it all. It is the love , respect and care that transforms a business relation(employer - employee) into something of greater value. Respect to the techies for their expertise, the value that they bring to the organization. It is obviously more than another department in the organization that just provides a utility at some cost. As Joseph Nye points out , there are 3 ways of having your will done i. By Coercion, threats etc. ii. By enticing the other person or iii. By making the other person want what you want . The first 2 constitute what is known as hard-power where as the last one make up that has come to be known as soft-power. This brings us to the next principle of Passion.
b) Passion - Programming is as much a mode of expression , as much a creative discipline as writing or painting is and as in other disciplines it requires passion and complete immersion of its practioners to produce the excellent work. Every shop that does "tech" must acknowledge this fact and should actively promote that culture and conversation in its DNA that addresses and nurtures this urge in its employees. In this context , these artists are the most valuable "asset" to the company and the trick is in aligning the companies goals and the creative fulfillment that the "artists" seek. The symbiosis is fulfilled in the acts of compassion for the employer that goes beyond the business relation and works for nurturing the talents of its employees beyond its immediate need and the employee that goes beyond his call of duty to bring value. It could be something anything from "20% project" , organizing a "friday tech talks" or any of such initiatives. No organization is small or big enuf for any of such initiatives.
Another manifestation of respect and compassion is by the way of involvement where the company seeks and promotes the views of its technical assets across the functions , creative as they are , the ideas that might be brought to table can only have positive spin-offs for the company.
Bottom line is unlike any other job this profession is not a business transaction at the end of the day where one renders some service for a price. There is a human side to this and a very valuable yet intangible transaction that needs to be settled as much as the tangible one , only difference being here the currency is of compassion and passion.