Thursday, December 21, 2006

To you my brother

My earliest memories of him have to be when I was leaving my grandfather’s house after an enjoyable summer. My aunt had brought back two racing cars from Dubai and both of us were given one each. There was the one with the detachable driver and the other with the fixed driver. I was probably four and he was three. I demanded that I take both cars with me back home much to my mothers and my aunt’s dismay. But he was rather surprisingly magnanimous about it. He was willing to part with it to avoid a scene in the house. Obviously my mother made me leave one behind but for some reason I can’t get it out of my head.

Many a summers have passed. Many a memories have been saved. The explorations of the limited expanse around the house, the fish tank swimming lessons, the visits to the beach, the showers under the garden hose, the first cigarette, the first drink, the first “interesting” swimsuit calendar, the “interesting” magazine, encounters in the foriegn land and else. Years are rolling by and life has come a long way from where we used to be the carefree kids trying to find another free minute in the ever busy summer vacations.

I wish I was there for your wedding buddy. Wish you a very happy married life! I will be cheering for you on the 27th.

Here’s to the good old days!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Too many smart people in a room.

Today I read an article on Google questioning if there were too many smart people in Google for its own good. Google has been known to have a very tough hiring process and is known in the valley for hiring only the very best. This has built as aura around Google and its employees. The halo around the headquarters is for all to see. But the article indirectly asks a very pertinent question. Is there such a thing as having too many good people in an organization?

From my experiences at workplaces I think the author has a very good point. Most people I have met who are blessed with above average intelligence also comes with a certain level of attitude that is not ideal towards managing them. In one of the companies that I was working in there used to be a really sharp guy who was the last word in what he did. But there was not a soul who could control him. The managers basically were at his mercy as far as deliverables was concerned. Don't get me wrong he was good. But he was just not manageable.

So what does an organization need? Is it smart people? Or is it smart people leading drones of worker bees? It’s a hard balance to get. Would you really hire a person that you thought wasn't really good? I feel that you need extremely smart people in every office to lead and give direction to an organization. The key is that everyone should be held to the organizational structure. The chain of command should be crystal clear. No one should be above the law. Once the chain of command is established, there is no need to worry about smart people anywhere in the organization.

I think really smart people walk into an organization thinking that they are above the rest. The usual day to day rules do not apply to them. Managers fearing the nearly cosmic abililities of the employee are reluctant to rein this person in. And here in lies the problem. Slowly each person begins to think that they are a little bit smarter and thus slowly moving out of the grasp of the corporate law. This will finally lead to anarchy.

I don’t think it is a bad thing to have too many smart people in a room. The question is weather each person in the room knows where they should be standing. If they can’t seem to stand in one place then they should be asked to leave the room. After all an unsettled room is the last thing that everyone standing in there wants.