Stupid question causes shit storm

Recently I posed the question  “What do you think about an open Salary policy, total transparency in compensation at a company that is less than 40 people, is this a good idea? Or a recipe for disaster?”   I received a Lot of Responses.  I can’t Imagine what would have happened if I had asked : “How do you feel about profanity in blog posts?”  

“Why don’t you ask our opinion?”

 I never expected to receive so much feed back from the Question I posed on Linked in.  The image above is just poking fun, becuase honestly the main feeling I got was genuine concern.  The responses were passionate, but mostly concerned that I was in a position (which I am not) to make such a policy change, and that if I do it, that I will RUIN the lives of the hypothetical 40 employees.  This was pretty touching, my friends, and strangers were very concerned that I would be weilding abusive and destructive power around in the name of “progressive management”. Trust me, I would never do that kind of policy change without consensus from the team.  But still I do ulimately think its a good policy.  The idea is simple, if you are a strong enough manager, you will deal with the inequity in pay structure.  The question is whether you deal with it transparently or just try to deal with it internally and privately. Continue reading “Stupid question causes shit storm”

Transparency is good, but scary

Is Victoria pulling her weight at work?

Recently I posed the question to my LinkedIn network, “What do you think about an open Salary policy, total transparency in compensation at a company that is less than 40 people, is this a good idea? Or a recipe for disaster?” The response was an overwhelmingly…


But i cannot believe how much a firecracker this quesiton was.  So many people felt compelled to answer it.

It seems like people think that Salary Inequality and transparency are like Priests and child abuse scandals, let’s not talk about it, and let’s just accept that it happens.

If we address it by making it public, it will destroy us.

I find this attitude puzzling.  So do a few other people.

Alexander Kjerulf, Penelope Trunk

At Ignite, we didn’t have a total transparency policy, I mean, we didn’t post salaries on the intranet…but we did talk about them openly, and every one knew the overhead rates, and the billing rates.  I though that helped, especially when it came time to talk about pay cuts due to falling revnues.  But hey, our pay scale was pretty fair, and was closely tied to billing rates, so it was easier.  But I first thought of this 6 years ago…when the Boeing Air Traffic Management division was laid off. The  Company president went through the overhead rates in explicit detail.  I found this had a huge impact on how people felt about the decision.  It didn’ t help if you were one of the ones getting laid off, but it did make clear that the reductions were not just management whims in a stcok market slump

Besides ! Also, if Suze Orman is in favor of it, it can’t be that evil and scary ?   Actually 1 of the comments privately messaged me that it migh have a positive impact on Gender Inequality in Salary.  If that turns out to be provable, what more reason do you need.  Its not just “unfotunate” if you have Gender Inequality going on in Salary.  In the United States, it’s illegal.  Eliminating illegal practice through transparency is probably worth having to work hard to define a fair and equitable compensation strategy.

One colleague, (a european whose family comes from a former Soviet Block state) even told me it was Communist!  Since when, did open and transparent equate to Soviet Totalitarian Communism?


Ezra’s Casket

Ryan working through things

When our baby Soren was stillborn a few years back, one of the most cathartic experiences I had was working with our friend and master carpenter to build a tiny casket from some Brazilian wood, with pegs and glue only.  Rami helped me make it pretty ornately, but it was no bigger than shoe box.  I was heartened to read our friend Ryan Sherman’s Memorial blog about Ezra who passed away this year recently where they described the funeral.

 Particulary I though about carrying the casket together as a family. And having no hearse. And Ryan building the casket.   How good.  I think it must have helped with the grief.  

Cella and Josiah and renee all helped with the pegs in the final part of putting Soren’s casket together and that memory will always help me when I feel sad.