I enjoy working with multi-cultures building incredible products.
A tribe of Cannibals arrives at New York City.
They wonder the streets looking for a dream job, something to get them out of their difficult tribe life and duties they had back at the jungle.
After several weeks, good luck comes their way, and they all get accepted to work for a nice fancy high tech company.
On their first day at work they get to meet the HR director whom greets them and provides them with the on-boarding tour for new employees. While walking around the company the HR director tells the tribe members: “You will get good money. There is an open free buffet at work. I just ask that you not eat the employees.”
The tribe members begin working, and things look really well for them, and the company. They are happy with their jobs, progressing well, and meeting the expectations of their supervisors.
After two months where things seem to be working smoother than expected, the HR director invites them to a periodic conversation and commends them for their wonderful work. At the end of the conversation he says: “Not that I’m implying anything, But maybe you know where the cleaner went?”
“No boss”. They answer, and the director apologizes for suspecting them. As he leaves the room, the cannibal leader roars: “Okay, who ate the cleaner?”
One of the cannibals shyly admits guilt.
“Idiot,” scorns the leader, “we’re here for two months, we ate VPs, we ate marketing executives, we ate project managers and consultants. To this moment, nobody felt anything was missing. Did you have to eat the cleaner?”
What can we take away?
This is a nice silly story, but one of those stories where we tell ourselves “Actually, there’s an ounce of truth there”.
For many years now our corporate world, middle and small companies, have been run and managed with the trivial organizational charts. The titles and ranks, internal web pages indicating how the chain of command looks like so that people will know and follow. ‘Who should speak to who’.
Totally old school, and gladly changing, rapidly. It all comes down to the value we bring. Give value to company goals, needs, clients, and you will be in the loop and your opinions will matter. Walk around wearing only a title, not really knowing what you’re talking about or providing your teams and project members something helpful they can hold on to, then you become redundant.