ERPNext Open Day July 2012
Take Two: To quickly recap, two months ago we decided to welcome anarchy in our organization
Take Two: To quickly recap, two months ago we decided to welcome anarchy in our organization by stopping centralized work assignment. The way we co-ordinate is by syncing at the end of the month on "Open Day" (previously we called it Demo Day).
Its Hard to be Your own Boss
People who are used to a centralized way of working (not thinking about the "why"), when left to their own means, will find crutches to go back to the old system they are familiar with. Remindes me of a practice used on elephants in India.
When the elephants are young, they are tied with metal chains to a tree so that they do not escape. The young elephant tries hard, but eventually gives up trying to break it. After sometime, the chain is replaced by a simple rope or a thread that the elephant can break easily. But the elephant does not try. The chain is now only in the mind.
Something similar happened, the focus was totally on immediate issues like support issues and minor requests. I know they are very important and should be solved, but there has to be a balance between short and long term projects for the company to be successful.
A month is a real short time to judge and I am sure I am wrong. The problem has now shifted to how does everyone in the company:
- Be fully aligned with the company's long term goals. (Does having a fixed monthly income have to do with the alignment to short term?).
- Become self-aware of one's own strengths and opportunities.
- Have the ability to take a bird's eye view of all activities in the company.
This is the next challenge. Some of the questions are hard. Like self awareness, that usually comes when life surprises you and things don't go the way you expect, or when you read a lot. Some of the others like personal ambition and not accepting status-quo are even harder and depend on "inner" motivations and experiences.
The great thing is that when we first started this exercise, we never thought we would be facing these type of problems. These seem to be very fundamental issues and all great companies would have to address them, I assume. A way to address them would be:
- Better communication of the company's vision to everyone in the team, without sounding pedantic.
- Understand everyone's deep rooted ambitions.
- Shake up the apathy that is a part of the Indian culture. Maybe force everyone to do something totally different from what they do.
Would love to hear your suggestions!
See report of last month's Open (demo) day
Rushabh is a software developer and founder of ERPNext. He usually writes about the startup experience, open source and the technologies he is working on.