“An anarchic, messy, snobbish herd!”
Many times I’ve heard complaints from college students, especially those on their internship about their employers, bosses and co-workers. The complaints are about them (the working people) not being as professional, process-compliant, collaborative, positive, forward-thinking as what is described in text books. The students and fresh graduates are so frustrated that they either go for higher education or form their own group of interest for self-employment.
Before going on, I’d like to explain ‘the perfect world’. Most text books are written with reference to the operation of world’s top firms. Coca-Cola, Microsoft, NASA… Text books describe these enterprises’ operation, try to explain their essence, have case studies around them. Why? Because they are the best and are the models. Do you know who work in there? The genies who move Mount Fuji.
Let’s get back to the story above. The fact is, the employers have gone through a quasi-similar educational system. They are fully aware of ‘the perfect world’. Why they choose to behave differently is because of the C-o-n-t-e-x-t. It would cost them all their arms and legs if they buy all the process, infrastructure, management system from world’s top and ‘standard’ firms. It would be a delirium if their hire all people who think forward, say positive, know how to collaborate, comply with process and act professionally. It’s about business, about making money, about ensuring that the price of the product remains competitive while meeting satisfactory levels of quality. They do know what they are doing.
You can do it better. Oh yes, you can.
“A flock of horsy brats!”
Even more often I’ve seen sneers from more experienced white-collars towards the naive youngsters. Yes, it’s good that they’re experienced enough to understand all the constraints of the industry and tricks of the environment, in order to act in a way of cost-saving, effort-optimizing, price-competing. The perfect world just doesn’t exist anyway.
It’s right at this point that they are trapped within their own self-limitation. The perfect world is right there, visualized via the Coke we’re drinking, the Windows version we’re playing at, the bank from where we beside with joy from; or can even be the invisible but tremendously powerful cash flow that determines our career paths. Their aspiration has been buried under their self-made constraints. They’re happy with the current state that they have lost the will to fight – fight against one’s self – for more organized management, more mature process, more glamorous branding, more natural way of charging ten times more from Rockefellers.
Experience gives a lot, but it also silently takes lots away.
Utopia is there, for those who dare to aspire and know how to reach.