Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Weirdness at Work

I have been on Facebook since 2007 and, while I go through phases where either Facebook itself or one or two the users I'm connected to irritate the heck out of me, I do have to admit that this is a brand that's made a difference to my life - and can genuinely be described as a business phenomenon.

I was fascinated to read a blog in Marketing Magazine by Anil Pillai about his experiences in the Facebook HQ, and how the company philosophy is made apparent is the workplace. Things like Facebook being a permanent "work-in-progress", constantly in change, as witnessed by the lack of logos and corporate symbols cast in stone and by "walking meetings". Or hacking and fiddling as a way of life, not just tolerated but expected and encouraged.

Particularly appealing is the feeling of trust, of treating employees as adults (or maybe young student-type adults is the best description). No clocking in or out, as long as the work gets done. This feels similar to the Zappos culture, with its free lunches, nap room and co-created artwork on the walls. Tony Hsieh's Zappos ten core values include "deliver WOW through service" and "create fun and a little weirdness".

I do hope that the everyday internal reality does match what's seen on a snapshot visit from an outsider. And that if someone does want to do a Powerpoint presentation to an audience sitting in a traditional conference room, it's allowed!

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