Fable: The Company Which Did Wonderful Things


A new recruit to a young chip company once asked the company’s founder if the company had an organisation chart.

The founder, a great man, drew a circle with a dot in the middle.


The dot, he explained, was the recruit.


The circumference represented everyone else in the company.


The founder told the recruit that when he needed help in his job he could go to anyone else in the company and ask for it.


The company went on to do wonderful things.


MORAL: Enable



  1. Well Bob Noyce, who drew the circular organisational chart, died in 1990 but I’m sure the culture survived him, and it probably survived at least until Gordon Moore retired as chairman in 1997, and maybe it even survived in some form or other until Andy Grove retired as chairman in 2004.

  2. The company was then less than a year old… how long did this last ?
    Such corporate culture did not end with the sixties, it still exist and succeeds nowadays, for instance at Valve software.

  3. Well done [Anonymous} spot on. I bet it’s not like that now!

  4. Isn’t Google amazing
    “Early in the company’s history, in 1968, a new recruit asked about the organisation chart. Co-founder Robert Noyce, an acknowledged genius of technology, smilingly ‘picked up a piece of chalk and drew a small X’ on a blackboard.
    Around it, Noyce ‘swept a circle, and along the circle he added six or seven more Xs. Then he drew a spoke connecting each of the Xs outside the circle to the X in the centre’ – which represented the new recruit. The other Xs were Noyce, Moore and ‘the other people you’ll be dealing with. That’s what our organisation chart looks like.’ The new model company cares nothing for hierarchies and strict reporting relationships, and everything for swift access, accessibility and flexibility. Instead of the pyramid, Noyce had drawn a doughnut.”

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