Monday, March 7, 2011

The Modern Worker's Milking Cow

Micro finance loans, such as those given to the impoverished in India, are usually no more than a couple of hundred dollars. According to SKS Microfinance, a loan of $212 in India can go to the purchase of a milking cow.

The beauty of this model is that the person who bought the cow can now run a small, simple business. His mission is clear: This cow will produce the best milk India has ever tasted.

When you’re working with a cow you may have maybe twenty straightforward tasks you need to do. When you’re working in a mid-sized firm in the service sector, there are literally thousands of tasks that need to be done to keep things rolling.

When a cow is hungry, you feed it.
When your company needs cash, the accounting department calls on overdue receivables, managers fret over who they have to let go, and the sales team looks bad.

If the cow walks away, keep an eye on it.
If your company starts getting business in a market it hadn’t planned on, emergency management meetings are held, the marketing department redoes the website and collateral, and the employee mix may have to change.

At work, we all use our skill sets to add value to the firm. You may not understand everything that happens in human resources, but that’s fine. That’s not your specialty. Business is complicated and challenging. That’s just the nature of a diversified workforce and a developed economy. So when you get home after work and think that the day was pretty pointless, maybe it was. But maybe it was a day where you didn’t know it but you took care of your company in your own way.

You do not have your own cow. You have to share an amorphous, needy, temperamental cow (your firm), that is fighting with other cows (other firms), with people you did not select.

You are the modern worker.

1 comment:

Eddie said...

Wow... so well put. That last paragraph is going to be my new facebook quote.