Friday, May 8, 2009

My next computer company job and really learning the ropes X

Amazingly almost two years had passed since I entered the company. When I did there were about 50 employees and now there were 400 or so – for all the micro-management by engineers they were doing exceptionally well: had gone on the market, opened huge new headquarters, and were close to a billion US dollar turnover.

And that led to the crux of Taiwanese companies: they were micromanaged which meant that if the boss was good then the company was good, and vice-versa. In the case of William Kuo, the vice-president, who was the guy actually running the company, he was direct, rude, prone to shouting and screaming a little; not interested in facilitating his workforce – but he worked eighteen hours a day and had an exacting sense of quality. In short, it worked. However, now we were becoming an international company he was prone to calling everyone together to give long talks on how we needed to start thinking like one…

“We are on the market now and we need to start to think differently. Many companies have moved into this area and we need to be more professional. I know in Taiwan we have a culture of listen to the boss, but if we are going to compete internationally then we have to think like international companies do. I am not going to make the decisions for you, I am very busy. I want to pass ownership and responsibility to you all. I know you are very busy, but I want you to stop thinking about what worked last time, that attitude won’t do, you have to start thinking ‘out of the box.’ This means forever trying to think of how to do it better; be more creative.” He would say speaking in mostly English because he believed, if you were going to talk about how to behave like an international company it had more impact in English.

A scan of the room screamed he had his work cut out. It was filled with those engineers with the thick glasses, glasses so thick demolition balls would bounce off. Most of them hadn’t slept for a week and were thinking about the fact that they had enough work to stop them sleeping for the next one too; that their girlfriends were going to dump them because they didn’t have time for them - and it had taken them a lot of time in Internet chat rooms to get them in the first place – they weren’t exactly outgoing guys.

Fuck this shit about us not being innovative, they were thinking, if only he knew the creativity at this moment going into not falling asleep.

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