Thursday, July 22, 2010
Paradox Of Growing
Recently my manager called me to tell me that we had won that project for which I had been doing some presales work. The deal was valued at just fifty thousand rupees. But we were jumping.
We are a 200 people company. It’s like a family. We are attached to one another. Everyone’s working hard so that one day it will become a 2000 people company. We think of that day often and we believe it will come soon.
When we win a project or a client, we are overjoyed no matter how small the project value. Because we are happy for our company. We are happy for our bosses who work 14 hours a day. Our heart goes out to them.
The other day he showed me our growth plan graph with numbers doubling and sometimes tripling annually; 500, 900, 1800, 3000, 5000, 10000 and so on… we smiled at our own eagerness to get there… we felt such delight at the thought of this dream turning into reality.
And then, as I returned to my desk, I found myself pondering….
The Paradox of Growing.
When we become a 2000 people company, the atmosphere will be so different.
Alienation, the characteristic feature of all superstructures will smite us too.
Nobody will know one another.
The small family of now will then become a giant with too many strangers. People will become mere headcount.
A certain charm will be lost.
We will know only a few people around us.
There will be a long hierarchical chain between us and the founders with whom we so closely associate now.
Numbers will become mere statistic, except our own salary figures.
There will be so many verticals and so many transactions - we will lose track of projects won and lost, leave alone care about them.
Struggle will become impersonal.
We will no longer be emotional about the company, like now.
Yes. That’s the paradox of growing.
We are emotional about the company and that’s why we want it to grow.
But once it grows, we may no longer be emotional about it.
Is there a way we can remain at charming 200 while making the kind of profits Infosys does?