May 27, 2008

Building a Cool Place

Abhijit suggests five factors if focused on that will result in a cool place to work. Now let's see how a regular place to work would score in the cool-quotient.

  1. Iconic Top Management - This one is tough. There are only so many firms with charismatic and iconic founders and CEOs. 98% firms would be uncool on this standard for coolness.
  2. Informal Culture. As Abhijit himself says, building an informal culture is tough. And it's tough in certain cultures because traditional authority and power-distances make it difficult for informality to set up as organizational culture. Check how India ranks on the components of Hofstede's model. Is it difficult to understand why we're so माई बाप about everything from customer service to asking for our own money?
  3. Healthy employees: I'm really not sure how many organizations would be called cool on how healthy their employees are. In fact, the trappings of building a healthy workforce (a gym, a pool, tennis courts) are taken much more to be the signs of a 'cool place'. I reckon that 99% of employers would score very low on that.
  4. Technology to support flexi-working: Again most Indian organizations would rank very very low on this.
  5. Careers that Match the Individual's Aspirations: It would be even marginally true if organizations had alternate careers. However again for a large majority of organizations, career development means setting the organizations needs first and then if needed the person's.

So how cool is your organization?

What would be the factors that would say to you that your company is cool?