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If you weren't the Boss, would your company hire you?

by Phil Dourado February 26, 2015

Here's a story to learn from.

It's from Mitch Kapor about the firm Lotus Development Corporation, which Kapor started in 1982 with a few friends; three years later, Lotus had grown to 1,000 employees.

"In 1985, Freada Klein (then head of organizational development for Lotus) did an experiment... With Kapor’s permission, Klein pulled together the résumés of the first forty Lotus employees... Klein explained that most of these early employees had skills the growing company needed, but many had done “risky and wacko things” such as being community organizers, being clinical psychologists, living at an ashram, or like Kapor, teaching transcendental meditation.

Then Klein did something sneaky. She submitted all forty resumes to the Lotus human resources department.

Not one of the forty applicants, including Kapor, was invited for a job interview. The founders had built a world that rejected people like them."

That's from Bob Sutton's 'Work Matters' blog.

We talk about keeping the 'start-up mindset' a lot when it comes to big business. As a company grows, it inevitably has more layers of processes, more rules, and personal relationships become harder to maintain.

As you're building your own company culture, try Bob's thought experiment to make sure you're on the right track:

 

Would you be happy in the world you are building?