Forget the Good Old Days

Who: Jim Rowan, president and CEO, EncrypTix Inc.
Sign of the Times: “Our company went from one employee to 85 employees in the first three months.”

It’s a familiar story. A passionate entrepreneur launches a startup, and the company grows explosively. But as the firm grows, rifts develop between the newcomers and those who remember “the good old days.” Since October 1999, EncrypTix Inc., an online ticket-distribution company, has been riding that growth curve. “We’re a flat organization, and we give employees accountability and autonomy,” says Jim Rowan, 37. “But I still need to know that we’re keeping the atmosphere of trust intact.”

How does Rowan fight the corporate generation gap? “Too many companies assign their employees numbers that correspond to their date of hire,” says Rowan. “Low numbers turn into badges of pride. We don’t want to divide our employees, so folks here don’t know their hire numbers. There are no references to the ‘good old days.’ “

“We waited four months to have our first company party, because we wanted to have more people. And we welcome new employees by decorating a bulletin board with pictures of recent additions. We want our people to feel like they’ve been here since the beginning — because we’re still at the beginning.”FCS