Culture in Business - It's What You Do

Daniel DeGroff
  • By Daniel DeGroff
  • Culture
  • August 14, 2014

They say size matters. Does it really?

If you’ve ever worked for a large corporation, or perhaps any sized office you can likely relate to the brilliance of the Dilbert comic strip. I spent eight years at IBM and often thought that Scott Adams must have been sitting in a cube down the hall to accurately depict the corporate workplace.

Culture in BusinessDilbert's insight

I found a Dilbert recently that provides a example of how larger companies attempt to act like a smaller company to drive innovation. You can read the strip here.

In this strip, Pointy-Haired Boss announces in a staff meeting that “We need to foster more of a start-up culture to drive innovation.”  As you may expect, Pointy-Haried Boss is really after the results and not so much actual changes that may cultivate innovation.

The cartoon is funny because many larger companies at some point have made this same realization. The realization that they need to become more innovative and cultivate creativity in the workplace, not only to be more competitive in the marketplace but to retain and attract new talent. Intelligent and motivated individuals rarely enjoy being told what to do all day long without input into business decisions or autonomy over their own productivity. However, the reality of this scenario just as we see in this strip is that changes are often in name only with no real associated change.

Each to their own

I know size isn’t the only factor since I’ve also met those working for smaller companies trying to get hired by IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, or insert your favorite tech monolith here. But for me, being employed by a tech giant wasn’t what I wanted, it just didn’t fit for me. I walked out the doors of Big Blue three and a half years ago and I haven’t looked back. Then for the past three years I worked for an IBM business partner which was great, it was a good step from IBM to a company of approximately 700 employees and only 35 in the local office.

Looking to join a startup sized company with a lot of passionate people, I relocated from Minnesota to Colorado. I joined the team at Inversoft just over three months ago. Not only is the weather amazing but I’m working with a brilliant team of people very motivated to succeed.

Life is too short

Here I am helping build great software and my contributions are influential to the success of this company. Life is too short to work anywhere that you don’t look forward to coming to work everyday.

I’ve now made my way from one extreme to the other. IBM who in 2013 according to their annual report employed 431,212 human resources to a company where I know all the employees by name.

So, does size matter? I will say yes, in my experience smaller is better, much better.