Fun Times at Familiar
I’m minded to write something positive for a change (!) so I thought I might share how much fun a quintessential development organisation can be to work with. (I say work with, because we had almost no power structures, no managers, no bosses, and everyone was a colleague, a fellow.)
Familiar was a software house and consultancy, based near Reading UK (some forty miles west of London), which I started and led circa 1996-2000.
The years at Familiar was, for many of us, enormous fun. We were doing great things for our clients, bonding as a group, and learning loads about how to become a Quintessential organisation. The social side was just as much fun as the business side. Indistinguishable, really. We placed a lot of emphasis on the social aspects of the organisation:
- Company-funded weekends away in plush country hotels – for the folks in the company along with their significant others.
- Regular dIning out as a group, on the company’s expenses.
- Collaborative sessions (sprint planning and the like) in each others’ homes.
- Other group social events (e.g. exhibitions).
- An office configured for socialising – and learning – as much as for work (lounge, sofas, library, books, kitchen, etc.).
This was all made possible by the success we had commercially – a virtuous circle where fun led to great work for clients led to high margins led to funds for more fun…
It was the kind of win-win-win (clients, us, suppliers) that quintessential organisations regard as normal.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.