1. Many of the Silicon Valley companies are new and hence have no values or traditions.
True of new businesses and organizations. But the founders affect which norms and values move to the forefront. This is an important responsibility often not seen as a responsibility by new leaders.
2. Treat people as human beings.
Good advice for all companies. How this is exhibited becomes the issue. This may assume different meanings in different organizations.
3. All that matters is what you do, not looks, dress, etc.
Might be nice in theory but organizations are social animals. Even in the absence of dress norms and such, norms will develop. Recognized or not, norms are part of all organizations. And through these norms groups influence people’s behaviors.
4. Building relationships is more important than networking.
Interesting. Networking should be about building relationships. On the other hand, friendships can be problematic. Some work. Some change. Some may cause workplace difficulties. Many factors here make outcomes difficult to predict.
5. Policies and regulations are seen as negative.
This one suggests a lack of understanding about organizational design. Rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures are the formalization dimension of an organization. Why do we have them? Many are to insure quality, consistency, and to reduce judgment and discretion. The fewer decisions required, typically the less the pay.
6. An aversion to saying “no.”
This is human nature. It is often difficult to say “no”, especially to friends. The reality of the workplace is there are times that “no” is the best answer. The best managers and employees understand this.
7. The importance of hiring the best talent.
In Silicon Valley as elsewhere, not all talent is equal. We differ in our knowledge, skills, and abilities. Some software engineers will have an edge in aspects of their business. The result is intense competition for the “best” talent. The importance of acquiring the best talent is easy to overlook. Smart human resource acquisition is a great way to build an organization. Not all businesses, however, have that option for a variety of reasons. When you can hire great talent, where you have a need to move beyond what you are doing now, seek out the best to join your efforts.
© John Ballard, PhD, 2015. All rights reserved.
Image by Michael from San Jose, California, USA.
Used with permission Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations
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