Rule of 20-40-60
Updated: Mar 22, 2019
Wednesday - December 5th, 2018, we are to start our first weekly Red Head meeting with the whole team. Weary naa? Legit it was, who wants to get up in a hard winter morning for an official meeting in a rule-bound scenario to reach at a fixed sharp time.
While the idea was to sit together and talk about the culture, internal environment, share project experiences, and personal stories. most of the inmates were discussing and complaining to each other, ‘Yaar subah-subah meeting’.
It is already 9:40 am and it’s just 3 of 13 are present next to our whiteboard. They too are sitting there with a wary attitude, yawning and whispering. The meeting was supposed to start at 9:30 am on that crisp day but till 9:50 am, the count is still at 7. We waited, waited and waited to get most of us in by 10:10 am.
While this may be a common scenario in India that too for a startup, the reality remains that getting people on time is a challenge, a BIG challenge. It’s somewhere embedded in most of us. Even the west world knows this well about Indians as the people in the west prefer and are mostly before time. Be it the workplace, a get-together, a meeting or even for a date, managing time in India is kind of an acceptable challenge.
Focusing only on the workplace challenges here, while most large and small companies struggle and keep making rules, we at Dramantram just passed the baton to our associates (will tell you how).
Coming back to our Wednesday meeting, we started it at 10:15 am and after the usual meeting rituals, immediately this issue was raised. There were smiles all around and hardly any comment. No rule-making was discussed, stating that coming on time is a basic responsibility of an individual and we truly trust Team Dramantram as the most responsible bunch of crazy Storyteller (artists). We also decided to fix the next meeting from 9:45 am as 15 mins buffer. We exchanged a smile and moved to the next topic.
Next Wednesday on Red Head meeting, when I entered office at 9:41 am, the whole team was already in chit-chatting around the whiteboard. I could feel a change in the air. Hiding my surprise on the sudden behavior change but curious, I moved towards the board and saw a small text on the corner of the board, the 20-40-60. While I was processing this information and feeling good about it, I quickly got the message that I must pay Rs 20 as I stepped in at 9:41 am and there was huge laughter around.
Now, this is a great example of a flat organization where anyone or everyone can oversee a situation. When I asked for the story behind, it came as a collective decision of the team discussing over lunchtime, simple. What a simple solution to something so well ingrained and hard to get rid of. No wonder why it is being followed by everyone because everyone contributed to it. The other beauty was the numbers with a minimum of Rs 20 and Max of Rs 60. Had the minimum been Rs 5 or Rs 50, both ways it could have lost its relevance but 20, sounds the sweet spot. Now people can say that it’s easy for a team size of 13 to achieve this but honestly, no lead gets a reporting heads more than 10-12 and hence further branching. The point is intention and trust.
Though I have always been a believer of power decentralization, this further enhances my believe and trust in the system. I pulled out my wallet to pay my share of the fine of Rs 20 in a beautiful piggy bank and got along with the meeting.
For what we will do with the collected money, will tell you in upcoming blogs.
From the Chairperson of Wednesday Red Head meeting.
**Dramantram - Dramantram (Pronounced as Dra-Mann-Tram) is a video production, communication design, digital marketing and a concept photography company that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to innovate, create and communicate. Our flexible approach works in tandem with creativity and innovation.