Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fuzzy Boarders

I think the tribble is the most commonly known fuzzy boarder out there. They come on board the Starship Enterprise with a clear purpose (some guy was selling them as pets) and soon become a problem. Their use (cuteness) yields to the more pressing issue of how to deal with an out of control and growing population of fuzzy boarders.

As I'm whittling my "Hiring employee's that like/respect your corporate mission" essay, *upcoming*, I'm starting to see where some problems may begin with start-ups and their employees. I've summed it into halves.

First half, when you are a boss hiring for your start-up - HAVE A CLEAR JOB DESCRIPTION. Stop the "Requirements to be determined at a later date" stuff. Since I'm from the worker bee category, not privy to the lunch time management meetings, I can just speculate on the motive to the fuzzy job description. It's because you as management know that committing to something means you've limited your capacity to make people do what you want. It's a pure power play. Stop it - it's not the right starting point for a healthy relationship.

The second half, new hires listen up, when looking for work with a start-up, make your perspective boss commit to the performance metrics that you will be judged by over the first few months. If you can't get that commitment be ready for relentless flow of new responsibilities and extra hours of work on stuff you don't give a damn about (TPS reports anyone?). You are officially a member of the Fuzzy Boarder community.

It's the employee who is hired with a specific job purpose but who is slowly strangled with other unrelated responsibilities that will become a liability, slow and unproductive. It's the employer who doesn't see the value in explicit job descriptions that will become the authoritarian micro manager that doesn't understand why you won't stop complaining when asked to put together the company directory because you are the only one who knows how to use the software.

This is, of course, up for debate ;)

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