Entries Tagged 'Culture' ↓

EMC World Day Two

Another day down in Las Vegas!  Instead of writing a blow-by-blow of the day, I wanted to focus on an interesting event I was a part of.  I spend a lot of time writing about changes in company culture, but on Day Two I was able to participate in an example of the positive “old school” culture that let EMC get to where we are.

Last year, there was very little turnout for the “advanced” handson for StorageScope.  So this year, it was only offered once, and only 25 laptops were provided.  I decided to drop in on the session (being run by my manager Seth Silverman and my peer Anu Shivnath) to see how it went, and was greeted with chaos.  At least three times as many people arrived as were planned for, and more were lining up hoping to get in.  The room was packed beyond capacity and we had to turn people away.  Seth, however, offered everyone who was turned away a second runthrough in 75-90 minutes.

We pushed through the session (which I was very impressed with) and were wrapping up in 75 minutes as expected.  As people filtered out, a few filtered in — but only three people had returned for the promised second runthrough.

And they got it.

Three StorageScope customers had the undivided attention of 4 Control Center managers (QE and development), the director of our development organization, and an additional QE representative.  Six employees to three customers, for about an hour of intensive education and discussion.

We talk a lot inside the company about putting the customer first.  It’s not always easy in a development team to see how that happens.  But that, to me, defined EMC’s customer focus.  

I hope they enjoyed the session (and that they tell their friends 🙂 ).

The Inertial Dampeners of Cultural Change

One of the common themes expressed when talking about EMC’s internal online community is people collaborating and taking ownership of a task, making things happen without any corporate structures. The other day, I ran into a real-world application of why this takes time to gather momentum.

Scrum
Creative Commons License photo credit: .Page.

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No pom-pons here

Playing possum

I’ve always been a bit suspicious about corporate cheerleaders (this phrase brings up some interesting search results; I linked one of the safer ones here). It’s easy to be proud of where you work and excited about what you’re doing when new to the work force, but after a few years of watching the system in action it’s natural to be a bit jaded. I’ve always tried to avoid outright cynicism but I would be lying if I said I had never dipped into that realm. So when someone never stops talking about how excited they are to work at a certain company, I wonder who they are trying to convince.

So I was a bit surprised at myself when I told a friend in a recent email that I was excited to be working where I am.

In this case, it isn’t about a specific technology, or a set of tools, or even my co-workers. Instead, I’m excited because of what I’m seeing in the corporate culture.

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