A living entity

The rapidly growing multinational organization is offering outstanding opportunities for career advancement in a manager position. Company car, benefit system, invitations to fancy company events with strict dress code and incentive trips, are just a few elements of the attractive compensation package. A shared service center is offering long-term career possibilities and continuous improvement. Assets, as laptop, company mobile and gym membership are included in the package, plus 2 stoned nights per year in a four-star countryside wellness hotel under teambuilding cover, something like this stands in the job ad.

However, the company I met through various coincidences has a very simple job ad. It is still hard to believe that such a firm exists and prospers. Obviously the comfortable working environment is also a must here, so there is no lack of mandatory devices like the latest MacBook, iPhone, PlayStation, Apple TV, or the trendy office. But these are marginal and necessary items. The real temptation of the company is its philosophy and operational mechanism. On our first conversation the CEO stated that his employees’ satisfaction is top priority, the most important efficiency indicator. They set aside hierarchy, they do not have managers. This sounded quite anarchical for me, who has been working at a couple of places where the receptionists were proudly wearing their ‘facility manager’ badges. And usually at such places nobody cared about who was living inside the robots doing the daily work. They were just replaceable resources.

In addition, he was telling me that they don’t do timesheets, monitoring or performance review. Neither have they efficiency demonstration, strict processes, nor commands. They work upon personal agreements tells the owner. Working hours are flexible. Of course these specifications are evident for someone who was socialized in a working environment like this, but I was not, and I was skeptic. My first reaction was that this guy is lying. My second, that if he is not, the company has for sure already become bankrupt. And the third was, that if the first and second statements are false, then I’ve just found the place I want to work!

I was lucky, we decided to try to cooperate. When I dropped in the ideally represented working environment, and it’s embracing company philosophy, I realized shortly that it’s all real, this is not a machine, but a living entity. After two months spent in this environment, I can declare that it is working really well. In the first weeks I had to fight with myself to restrain my deeply rooted reactions, caused by my corporate cultivation, which became totally senseless in this contrast. And although all my substances responsible for working immediately identified themselves with this newly recognized philosophy, it was hard to switch. Experiences collected during many years have become a routine. But today I feel I have got rid of most of these, and I can see that the most important ingredient of success is human focus without any doubt. The food is also much more delicious when the chef enjoys cooking and cares about how his audience like his cuisine.