This is my envision for the corporate structure that I want to deploy in my next start-up:
The principle is to be simple, fair and make sense.
1.only 5 levels: junior, senior, manager, director, executives
different level represents different expertise in different area but all same pay for people at same level. So an engineer-background employee can still earn the same salary as director if his expertise in his area, say Database management, is equivalent to the director in management area. So anyone has his/her desirable career path in the desirable area. Too many bad story about an engineer promoted to tech manager but failed miserably.
Also this mean anyone can try different position. A director at sales could try to do R&D work but after evaluation by R&D group, she may have to start as a junior employee in R&D group with junior level salary. However, this type of cross-group experience should be required for director and executive level employee
2. Anyone wants to do a start-up will receive investment (time/resource/money) from the company. This is the best investment opportunity as we know each other much better than with an outsider. This also creates more opportunity for other existing employee to experience new challenges/opportunities.
3. Collaboration will be the king.
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