Before I get going on my rant here, let me just point out that I am not bashing anybody here, not even my own employer. And if I am bashing anyone, it is “the man” who in this case is synonymous with big faceless corporations here everything is systemized and all actions are controlled by over-zealous managers and time sheet keepers.
So anyway, I was reading this article on my iPad earlier, which talked about why people in Seattle all of a sudden wanted to work for Amazon again.
Amazon has been a cornerstone in Seattle for more than 15 years now, but it wasn’t always seen as a great place to work.
Employees talked about long hours and a pressure-cooker atmosphere, and the core business — e-commerce — didn’t seem very sexy.
What a difference a couple of years can make.
Over the New Year’s holiday, I visited Seattle for the first time since late 2010. A bunch of people in the tech scene told me the same thing: Amazon is THE place to work now.
Source: Matt Rosoff @ Business Insider
I have been a huge fan of Seattle’s for many years. In fact, so much so that I did part of my Master’s degree there (well, close to anyway) and married a woman from Seattle, to whom I have been married now for almost eleven years. That is still not the point though. As it states in the article, Amazon has a new HQ close to downtown, which is walking distance to pretty much everything. Furthermore, there are all kinds of Googlesque benefits for the employees, which is also a nifty thing I’ll admit. The really interesting thing though, is how the local area area has developed explosively since the move, because so many people now work there.
And so I wonder. I wonder why that kind of approach has never really taken off here in Denmark. I mean, I for one have never heard of any company that takes really makes a point out turning the HQ into a place where people actually want to spend their time. For that matter, I have never really seen any places in Denmark, where the campus has been designed to allow people to be creative or innovative.
In my younger days when I was a consultant I visited a lot of customers and I never encountered anything but standard Lenovo PCs, Nokia phones and crappy coffee. There’s nothing wrong with Lenovo or Nokia at all, actually the both make some really cool stuff, my is this though; everything is so standardized around here. We use the same tools, we runs our businesses the same way, and we never really seem to actually create something new. Considering how we consider ourselves well educated in this country I find it a little odd that we do not have any real startup culture here.
My stipulation is of course not right. We do have start ups here, that seem to approach the whole business life somewhat different than the bigger guys. Tradeshift and Podio are really good examples of companies that do not adhere to “the rules”; companies that are not afraid breaking some norms in order to do new things, and do them differently.
Perhaps it would be easier to make the employees “live the brand”, be more efficient or even more loyal to the company.