When talking about employment within a hi tech company, people tend to focus on how great things are. Exciting work, good pay, stock options etc etc.

An ebay listing by a somewhat disgruntled Salesforce employee would tend to suggest something else. Seems that the Salesfoce team got a couple of chocolate bars as a bonus when Salesforce hit 1 million subscribers. But also seems their payroll bonus gets tinkered with for somewhat obscure reasons.

I’d  put this down to business growth and the difficulties of keeping culture static within a scaling enterprise. I’ve sen it many times when a company goes from (say) 100 employees to several hundred. No longer is one leader able to connect with all the employees and therefore the culture becomes about the management team rather than one leader.

I do some work for a company that is owned by one person who started it – in the early days he was known to work 20 hour days and achieve more than all his staff – this commitment built a real leadership model with the staff at the time. Now that the business has scaled it’s hard to replicate that same sense of loyalty, buy-in and team.

My advice is to focus on culture when building business plans – your people are an integral part of the operation.

Oh, and Salesforce, lighten up a little…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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