Even though it is very unlikely that Balhiser LLC will do any hiring in 2010, it makes sense to lay out a rough sketch of expectations and policies. In many ways I’d like to follow the HP Way as outlined in David Packard’s excellent book. So here is a first pass.
Balhiser LLC is:
- A for-profit financial company seeking to produce long-term returns for its shareholders.
- A company where every employee is a shareholder.
- An innovative, conservatively-managed company that values bold ideas and prudent actions.
- As true of a meritocracy as humanly possible.
While I as president retain final say-so, salary and other financial information will be governed as follows (as permitted by law):
- Transparency. All employees and stockholders will have access to the company’s financial books. This includes salary, other compensation, and ownership information.
- Employees will play a key role in hiring their co-workers.
- Employees will, as much as possible, have say-so on who is on their project team.
- Friendly competition between project teams is encouraged.
- Competition between project team members is generally discouraged. Teamwork is strongly encouraged.
- Salary and compensation adjustments will be based on the following (in descending order of precedence):
- Company performance
- Project performance
- Individual performance
- Company performance is #1 because without reasonable performance the wants of the shareholders and employees simply cannot be met.
- Project performance is #2.
- Individual performance is #3 because:
- It is often difficult to measure objectively.
- Competition between individuals for salary, position, etc is frequently at odds with teamwork.
- Time spent on “getting credit” and “looking good” is time wasted. What matters is enjoying work, finding solutions, and making money.
- In the long term individual performance is still rewarded because:
- The teams with the strongest individual performers will tend to be more successful.
- The importance of project team success will result in high-performers being highly sought-after.
- Long-term low performance that is detrimental to the team is unlikely to be tolerated by the team.
As a final bit here is what currently constitutes Balhiser LLC:
- Invests company resources to make cash-flow and profit.
- Financial commentary and general (not-individualized) investment advice.
- Financing long-term investments and constructing a long-term financial portfolio with a strong balance sheet.
- An investment property (that is currently generating positive cash-flow).
- A business checking account.
- A handful of websites/domains.
- Over 75 articles on various financial topics.
- A computer, and other office equipment.
- A modest collection of accounts receivable.
Disclaimer: The Crazy Ivan Account (CIA) is not a Balhiser LLC asset. Commentary about the CIA is.