Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

Feb 20 2009   1:14PM GMT

Overheard – The lady or the tiger

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“If there is a bright side to the current economic crisis, it might be the death of the cool the company, and that would be fine with us. During the dot-com bubble, Silicon Valley companies went out of their way to provide concierge services, gourmet food, ping pong tables, and other workplace perks. They did this to compete for talent, but they also did this to remove any reason someone might have to leave campus.”

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, The Death of the Cool Workplace

Today’s Word of the Day is going to be Results Oriented Work Environment.   It’s a management philosophy where the first commandment is “Work isn’t a place you go, but something you do.”

When I talk about working at a ROWE,  I’m always reminded of my kid’s pop-up book where the guy is asked to pick a door — behind one door is a beautiful lady that will grant all your wishes. Behind the other door is a ferocious tiger that will eat you up.  (The original story is much more devious.)

But it was the kids’ version I kept thinking about when I was trying to decide whether or not to come to TechTarget.

You see, TechTarget has been a ROWE since it was a start-up. Before I came to TechTarget, I’d never interviewed for a position that didn’t mention how many paid vacation days and sick days and personal days I’d get. It was a little scary to be told “No vacation, no sick days, no personal days…you decide when and how much to work.” Was a ROWE the beautiful lady or the ferocious tiger?

Most days as I tap dance to work, I think I’ve picked the beautiful lady.  Some days as I pry my fingers from the keyboard after 14 hours, I’m sure I’ve picked the tiger. But the tiger is of my own making and even that is empowering.

People can’t believe it when I tell them I don’t have vacations or holidays or sick days.  I just work until the work is done. Of course, since there’s always work to do — and TechTarget was smart enough to hire people who love what they do — my colleagues and I put in more hours, accomplish more work and take less time off than anyplace else I’ve ever been employed.

Once you take away the tyranny of the clock, there’s nothing to stop you from working more.  Brilliant.

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