I talk with individuals who work inside small Orthopedic companies every day.   It struck me the other day, that these people are just plain happier.  Why is this?

Small company employees are happier because of the flexibility of work and how they are treated as part of the tribe.  

Small companies work more like teams work. The hiring is faster and more humane. The decision making is direct and less bureaucratic. Work-life balance is usually more natural. The small company culture feels like a family business.  Everyone is rowing the same direction and there is transparency. A person in a small company is part of the tribe doing diverse tasks, with more creativity, and less rules. 

Humans are wired to be flexible and creative, because we all evolved from tribes. Working in a small company is much like working in a tribe and the work is more human-like.

On the other hand, working inside a big orthopedics company is less human.

Big orthopedic companies are complex systems. The hiring is confusing and less personal. The work-life balance is ignored and the business feels like a giant machine. And the decision-making is… well, there is no decision-making.

The big orthos expect people to work in a very narrow scope. This is a specialization hangover from the industrial revolution. Big companies want each employee to act as a cog in their giant system.

Humans are NOT built for SPECIALIZATION. Humans are best when working as GENERALIST creatures.  

Robert Heinlein said it best:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.”

–Robert Heinlein

Where do you want to work?