Today marked the end of my second week down at IBM. So far things are going very well. The work is interesting, the people are intelligent and friendly and the coffee is offered in the cafeteria for a reasonable price (free). But while I settle into my little work community in the Advanced Technology Group, I can't help but think about the rest of the 330,000 IBM badge holders around the world.
Of all the things I was told on my first day; policies, procedures, values, none of them have stuck in my head like the number 330,000. I tried immediately to imagine a point of comparison. I've certainly never worked at an organization that was anywhere near that size. In fact, if I exclude the jobs I had while in school, IBM has over 15,000 times more people than the largest company in my resumé. The town I grew up in is an order of magnitude smaller with around 12,000 people. Even Cambridge is only around 101,000 people. It is hard to imagine being in the company of 330,000 people (pun sort of intended). What exactly would it look like, for instance, if someone called a company-wide meeting at IBM with all 329,373 employees? Like this? (Be sure to use the slider to zoom out)