Zappos Insights http://www.zapposinsights.com/ Zappos Insights Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:14:07 GMT A Memo From Tony Hsieh http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh <p class="date"> 04/08/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p class="p1"> &quot;If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.&rdquo; Henry Ford</p> <p class="p1"> An email from our CEO was recently sent to our employees that has many people interested in the future of Zappos. To understand the following memo, one must understand the steps leading up to this groundbreaking decision for the company. In 2013, Zappos implemented Holacracy, a system that removes traditional managerial hierarchies allowing employees to self-organize to complete work in a way that increases productivity, fosters innovation and empowers anyone in the company with the ability to make decisions that push the company forward.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> As we&rsquo;ve moved toward becoming a completely Holacratic organization, there have been challenges which can be expected after shifting the way people<span class="s1">&nbsp;are</span>&nbsp;instinctively used to working and thinking. One of the biggest challenges has been adopting this new way of working throughout the entire company and removing legacy management structures. As Tony states in his memo<span class="s1">&nbsp;below</span>,&nbsp;&quot;Having one foot in one world while having the other foot in the other world has slowed down our transformation towards self-management and self-organization.&quot;</p> <p class="p1"> Although there has been a lot of focus on Holocracy as our ultimate end-goal, our true journey is&nbsp;<span class="s1">to&nbsp;</span>becoming a fully&nbsp;self-managing&nbsp;organization that culminates in making our work more productive,&nbsp;fulfilling, and&nbsp;meaningful<span class="s1">.&nbsp;</span>Holacracy&nbsp;is one of the many tools we plan on using to reach&nbsp;<span class="s1">our</span>&nbsp;destination.&nbsp;This&nbsp;change isn&rsquo;t for everyone and in typical Zappos fashion, there is a severance option for those that aren&rsquo;t&nbsp;comfortable&nbsp;with this new direction.&nbsp;<span class="s1">&ldquo;</span>Embrace and Drive Change<span class="s1">&rdquo;</span>&nbsp;is&nbsp;<span class="s1">our&nbsp;</span>Core Value&nbsp;that is at the forefront of our&nbsp;minds&nbsp;lately and in order to do so<span class="s1">,</span>&nbsp;we all need to be ready and willing to explore new possibilities without losing focus on what truly makes us unique: our commitment to culture and our Core Values.<span class="s1">&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"> Below you&rsquo;ll find Tony&rsquo;s memo and a little more information on what the future holds for Zappos.</p> <hr /> <p class="p1"> This is a long email. Please take 30 minutes to read through the email in its entirety.</p> <p class="p2"> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/tony-ahm.png" style="width: 500px; height: 339px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />We&rsquo;ve been operating partially under Holacracy and partially under the legacy management hierarchy in parallel for over a year now. Having one foot in one world while having the other foot in the other world has slowed down our transformation towards self-management and self-organization. While we&rsquo;ve made decent progress on understanding the workings of the system of Holacracy and capturing&nbsp;work/accountabilities in Glass Frog, we haven&#39;t made fast enough progress towards self-management, self-organization, and more efficient structures to&nbsp;run our business. (Holacracy is just one of many tools that can help move us towards self-management and self-organization, but simply abiding by the rules of Holacracy does not equal self-management or self-organization.)</p> <p class="p2"> After many conversations and a lot of feedback about where we are today versus our desired state of self-organization, self-management, increased autonomy, and increased efficiency, we are going to take a &quot;rip the bandaid&quot; approach to accelerate progress towards becoming a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>&nbsp;(as described in the book&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>).</p> <p class="p2"> Something key to note here is that Holacracy just happens to be our current system in place to help facilitate our move to self-organization, and is one of many tools we plan to experiment with and evolve with in the future. Our main objective is not just to do Holacracy well, but to make Zappos a fully self-organized, self-managed organization by combining a variety of different tools and processes.&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>&nbsp;calls this type of organization a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>. You&rsquo;ll learn examples of successful Teal organizations below and in the book. Each of the companies cited below and in the book have different tools and processes to help with self-management and self-organization. We won&rsquo;t necessarily adopt all of them, but instead we will experiment and figure out the right tools and processes for Zappos, using Holacracy as the initial starting point and continually evolving as we dive deeper into the world of self-management and self-organization.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"> Our immediate plan over the next few months:</p> <p class="p2"> -&nbsp;<b>Teal organizations</b>&nbsp;attempt to minimize service provider groups and lean more towards creating self-organizing and self-managing business-centric groups instead.&nbsp;As of 4/30/15, in order to eliminate the legacy management hierarchy, there will be effectively be no more people managers.&nbsp;In addition, we will begin the process of breaking down our legacy silo&rsquo;ed structure/circles of merchandising, finance, tech, marketing, and other functions and create self-organizing and self-managing business-centric circles instead by starting to fund this new model with the appropriate resources needed to flourish. Functions that were previously silo&rsquo;ed will be embedded inside these&nbsp;business-centric circles instead &mdash;&nbsp;this structure will require fewer roles that primarily manage expectations and drive alignment across legacy silos.&nbsp;We will continue using Holacracy&#39;s systems and processes for prioritization and resource allocation, so it&rsquo;ll be extremely important for all of us to keep Glass Frog up to date.</p> <p class="p2"> - To be clear, managers were absolutely necessary and valuable to the growth of Zappos over the years&nbsp;<i>under our previous structure</i>. Without managers, we would not have gotten to where we are today. Historically at Zappos the &quot;manager&quot; position contained a number of different responsibilities including people management, overseeing and approving decisions, budgeting, and professional development, as well as direct work on projects and goals for the good of the team. The people management aspects of the manager role are valuable in what the book refers to as&nbsp;<b>Orange and Green organizations</b>, but do not make sense in a self-organized and self-managing&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>. While we know that the full role of managers will no longer be necessary in a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>, we&rsquo;re also looking forward to seeing what new exciting contributions will come from the employees who were previously managers. All former managers who remain in good standing will still keep their salary through the end of 2015 even though their day-to-day work that formerly involved more traditional management will need to change. A new circle called&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Yourself</i>&nbsp;has been created to help guide former managers to new roles that might be a good match for their passions, skills, and experience. Hollie is the lead link of that new circle. (On our backend HRIS system, employees will still have &quot;reporting&quot; relationships solely for the purposes of maintaining compliance&nbsp;(e.g. SOX) requirements because we are part of a public company. This compliance requirement will be largely invisible to most&nbsp;employees and should not be confused with legacy reporting structures which will no longer exist.)</p> <p class="p2"> - Self-management and self-organization is not for everyone, and not everyone will want to move forward in the direction of the Best Customers Strategy and the strategy statements that were recently rolled out. As such, there will be a special version of &ldquo;the offer&rdquo; to everyone who reads&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>&nbsp;and/or meets some other criteria (outlined towards the end of this email).</p> <p class="p2"> &nbsp;- For better context, please read the two articles below first:&nbsp;<i>Misperceptions of Self-Management</i>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<i>Five Crucial Competencies of Self-Management</i></p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTIONS OF SELF-MANAGEMENT</b></p> <p class="p4"> <span class="s2">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management"><span class="s3">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p3"> June 12, 2014</p> <p class="p3"> By Frederic Laloux</p> <p class="p3"> Say &ldquo;Self-Management&rdquo; and almost everyone gets the wrong idea.</p> <p class="p3"> Self-managing structures are appearing everywhere, and get increasing attention in the media. They seem to be much more adaptative, agile, motivating than traditional pyramidal organizations, and they appear to achieve spectacular results. But is this a simple fad, or a new phenomenon destined to spread? And why are most people dismissive when you mention the possibility to run organizations &ldquo;without a boss&rdquo;?</p> <p class="p3"> Even though we are only now starting to get our heads around it, Self-Management is not a startling new invention by any means. It is the way life has operated in the world for billions of years, bringing forth creatures and ecosystems so magnificent and complex we can hardly comprehend them. Self-organization is the life force of the world, thriving on the edge of chaos with just enough order to funnel its energy, but not so much as to slow down adaptation and learning.</p> <p class="p3"> Leading scientists believe that the principal science of the next century will be the study of complex, autocatalytic, self-organizing, non-linear, and adaptive systems. This is usually referred to as &ldquo;complexity&rdquo; or &ldquo;chaos theory&rdquo;. For a long time, we thought the world operated based on Newtonian principles. We didn&rsquo;t know better and thought we needed to interfere with the life&rsquo;s self-organizing urge and try to control one another.</p> <p class="p3"> It seems we are ready now to move beyond rigid structures and let organizations truly come to life. And yet self-management is still such a new concept that many people frequently misunderstand what it is about and what it takes to make it work.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 1: THERE IS NO STRUCTURE, NO MANAGEMENT, NO LEADERSHIP</b></p> <p class="p3"> People who are new to the idea of Self-Management sometimes mistakenly assume that it simply means taking the hierarchy out of an organization and running everything democratically based on consensus. There is, of course, much more to it. Self-Management, just like the traditional pyramidal model it replaces, works with an interlocking set of structures, processes, and practices; these inform how teams are set up, how decisions get made, how roles are defined and distributed, how salaries are set, how people are recruited or dismissed, and so on.</p> <p class="p3"> What often puzzles us at first about self-managing organizations is that they are not structured along the control-minded hierarchical templates of Newtonian science. They are complex, participatory, interconnected, interdependent, and continually evolving systems, like ecosystems in nature. Form follows need. Roles are picked up, discarded, and exchanged fluidly. Power is distributed. Decisions are made at the point of origin. Innovations can spring up from all quarters. Meetings are held when they are needed. Temporary task forces are created spontaneously and quickly disbanded again. Here is how Chris Rufer, the founder and president of Morning Star, talks about the structure of self-managing organizations:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>Clouds form and then go away because atmospheric conditions, temperatures, and humidity cause molecules of water to either condense or vaporize. Organizations should be the same; structures need to appear and disappear based on the forces that are acting in the organization. When people are free to act, they&rsquo;re able to sense those forces and act in ways that fit best with reality.</i></p> <p class="p3"> The tasks of management?setting direction and objectives, planning, directing, controlling, and evaluating?haven&rsquo;t disappeared. They are simply no longer concentrated in dedicated management roles. Because they are spread widely, not narrowly, it can be argued that there is more management and leadership happening at any time in self-managing organizations despite, or rather precisely because of, the absence of fulltime managers.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 2: EVERYONE IS EQUAL</b></p> <p class="p3"> For as long as human memory goes back, the problem of power inequality has plagued life in organizations. Much of the pervasive fear that runs silently through organizations?and much of the politics, the silos, the greed, blaming, and resentment that feed on fear?stem from the unequal distribution of power.</p> <p class="p3"> Interestingly, the interlocking structures and processes allowing for self-organization do not resolve the question of power inequality; they transcend it. Attempting to resolve the problem of power inequality would call for everyone to be given the same power. Cooperatives, for instance, have sought in equal ownership a method to divide power equally. Interestingly, none of the organizations I have researched for the book Reinventing Organizations are employee-owned; the question of employee ownership doesn&rsquo;t seem to matter very much when power is truly distributed.</p> <p class="p3"> The right question is not: how can everyone have equal power? It is rather: how can everyone be powerful? Power is not viewed as a zero-sum game, where the power I have is necessarily power taken away from you. Instead, if we acknowledge that we are all interconnected, the more powerful you are, the more powerful I can become. The more powerfully you advance the organization&rsquo;s purpose, the more opportunities will open up for me to make contributions of my own.</p> <p class="p3"> Here we stumble upon a beautiful paradox: people can hold different levels of power, and yet everyone can be powerful. If I&rsquo;m a machine operator?if my background, education, interests, and talents predispose me for such work?my scope of concern will be more limited than yours, if your roles involve coordinating the design of a whole new factory. And yet, if within what matters to me, I can take all necessary actions using the advice process, I have all the power I need.</p> <p class="p3"> This paradox cannot be understood with the unspoken metaphor we hold today of organizations as machines. In a machine, a small turn of the big cog at the top can send lots of little cogs spinning. The reverse isn&rsquo;t true?the little cog at the bottom can try as hard as it pleases, but it has little power to move the bigger cog. The metaphor of nature as a complex, self-organizing system can much better accommodate this paradox. In an ecosystem, interconnected organisms thrive without one holding power over another. A fern or a mushroom can express its full selfhood without ever reaching out as far into the sky as the tree next to which it grows. Through a complex collaboration involving exchanges of nutrients, moisture, and shade, the mushroom, fern, and tree don&rsquo;t compete but cooperate to grow into the biggest and healthiest version of themselves.</p> <p class="p3"> It&rsquo;s the same in self-managing organizations: the point is not to make everyone equal; it is to allow all employees to grow into the strongest, healthiest version of themselves. Gone is the dominator hierarchy (the structure where bosses hold power over their subordinates). And precisely for that reason, lots of natural, evolving, overlapping hierarchies can emerge?hierarchies of development, skill, talent, expertise, and recognition, for example. This is a point that management author Gary Hamel noted about Morning Star:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>Morning Star is a collection of naturally dynamic hierarchies. There isn&rsquo;t one formal hierarchy; there are many informal ones. On any issue some colleagues will have a bigger say than others will, depending on their expertise and willingness to help. These are hierarchies of influence, not position, and they&rsquo;re built from the bottom up. At Morning Star one accumulates authority by demonstrating expertise, helping peers, and adding value. Stop doing those things, and your influence wanes&mdash;as will your pay.</i></p> <p class="p3"> So really, these organizations are anything but &ldquo;flat,&rdquo; a word often used for organizations with little or no hierarchy. On the contrary, they are alive and moving in all directions, allowing anyone to reach out for opportunities. How high you reach depends on your talents, your interests, your character, and the support you inspire from colleagues; it is no longer artificially constrained by the organization chart.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 3: IT&rsquo;S ABOUT EMPOWERMENT</b></p> <p class="p3"> Many organizations today claim to be empowering. But note the painful irony in that statement. If employees need to be empowered, it is because the system&rsquo;s very design concentrates power at the top and makes people at the lower rungs essentially powerless, unless leaders are generous enough to share some of their power. In self-managing organizations, people are not empowered by the good graces of other people. Empowerment is baked into the very fabric of the organization, into its structure, processes, and practices. Individuals need not fight for power. They simply have it. For people experiencing Self-Management for the first time, the ride can be bittersweet at first. With freedom comes responsibility: you can no longer throw problems, harsh decisions, or difficult calls up the hierarchy and let your bosses take care of it. You can&rsquo;t take refuge in blame, apathy, or resentfulness. Everybody needs to grow up and take full responsibility for their thoughts and actions?a steep learning curve for some people. Former leaders and managers sometimes find it is a huge relief not having to deal with everybody else&rsquo;s problems. But many also feel the phantom pain of not being able to wield their former positional power.</p> <p class="p3"> Many leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of organizational design focus their energy today on the question of how leaders can become more conscious. The thinking goes as follows: if only leaders could be more caring, more humble, more empowering, better listeners, more aware of the shadow they cast, they would wield their power more carefully and would create healthier and more productive organizations. Brian Robertson, the founder of Holacracy, put it well in a blog post:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>We see attempts for leaders to develop to be more conscious, aware, awake, servant leaders that are empowering. &hellip; And yet, the irony: &hellip; If you need someone else to carefully wield their power and hold their space for you, then you are a victim. This is the irony of empowerment, and yet there is very little else we can do within our conventional operating system other than try our best to be conscious, empowering leaders.</i></p> <p class="p3"> If we can&rsquo;t think outside the pyramid, then indeed, as Robertson notes, the best we can do is try to patch up the unhealthy consequences of power inequality with more enlightened leadership. Pioneer self-managing organizations show that it&rsquo;s possible to transcend the problem of power inequality and not just patch it up. We can reinvent the basic structures and practices of organizations to make everyone powerful and no one powerless.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 4: IT&rsquo;S STILL EXPERIMENTAL</b></p> <p class="p3"> Another common misconception is that Self-Management might still be an experimental form of management. That is no longer true: Self-Management has proven its worth time and again,&nbsp; on both small and large scales and in various types of industry. W. L. Gore, a chemical manufacturing company best known for its Gore-Tex fabrics, has been operating on self-organizing principles since its founding in the late 1950s. Whole Foods, with its 60,000 employees and $9 billion in revenue, operates its more than 300 stores with self-governing units (the rest of the organization has more traditional hierarchical structures). Each store consists of roughly eight self-managing units, such as produce, seafood, and check-out (central services are run with a traditional, albeit empowered hierarchy).</p> <p class="p3"> The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has operated since its founding in 1972 on entirely self-managing principles. The orchestra, with residence in New York&rsquo;s Carnegie Hall, has earned rave reviews and is widely regarded as one of the world&rsquo;s great orchestras. It operates without a conductor. Musicians from the orchestra make all artistic decisions, from choosing the repertoire to deciding how a piece ought to be played. They decide who to recruit, where to play, and with whom to collaborate.</p> <p class="p3"> Virtual and volunteer-driven organizations practice Self-Management on staggering scales. In 2012, Wikipedia had 100,000 active contributors. It is estimated that around the same number?100,000 people?have contributed to Linux. If these numbers sound large, they are dwarfed by other volunteer organizations. Alcoholics Anonymous currently has 1.8 million members participating in over 100,000 groups worldwide?each of them operating entirely on self-managing principles, structures, and practices.</p> <p class="p3"> I believe it is because we have grown up with traditional hierarchical organizations that we find it so hard to get our heads around Self-Management. Young people, on the other hand, who have grown up with the Web (variously referred to as Millennials, Generation Y) &ldquo;get&rdquo; self-management instinctively. On the web, management writer Gary Hamel notes:</p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li3"> <i>No one can kill a good idea</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Everyone can pitch in</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Anyone can lead</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>No one can dictate</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You get to choose your cause</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You can easily build on top of what others have done</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You don&rsquo;t have to put up with bullies and tyrants</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Agitators don&rsquo;t get marginalized</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Excellence usually wins (and mediocrity doesn&rsquo;t)</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Passion-killing policies get reversed</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Great contributions get recognized and celebrated</i></li> </ul> <p class="p3"> Many organizational leaders and human resource managers complain that Millennials are hard to manage. Indeed, this generation has grown up in the disruptive world of the Internet, where people&rsquo;s influence is based on contribution and reputation, not position. Why would they want to put up with anything other than self-management in the workplace? Why would anyone else, for that matter?</p> <p class="p3"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"> <b>FIVE CRUCIAL COMPETENCIES OF SELF-MANAGEMENT</b></p> <p class="p4"> <span class="s2">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/five-crucial-competencies-of-self-management"><span class="s3">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/five-crucial-competencies-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p3"> April 17, 2014</p> <p class="p3"> By Doug Kirkpatrick</p> <p class="p3"> While there are many competencies that enable effective self-management (excellent communication skills, solid teamwork, good judgment), there are many other, less obvious competencies that impact one&rsquo;s ability to navigate and perform at a high level in a self-managed ecosystem. Here are five candidates for consideration.</p> <p class="p3"> 1) Taking Initiative. This characteristic is expressly called for in the Morning Star Colleague Principles. It&rsquo;s very hard to deliver constructive feedback to colleagues or cause positive change in processes without a willingness to take the initiative to do so. Taking initiative includes the willingness and ability to speak up when necessary.</p> <p class="p3"> 2) Tolerance for Ambiguity. Self-management can be messy as new colleagues meet new people, engage with new processes, and learn a new way of working. Negotiating a Colleague Letter of Understanding (CLOU) that clearly communicates one&rsquo;s mission, process stewardships and performance metrics with affected stakeholders takes time and effort. Choices must be made regarding what requests to make of other colleagues and the timing and scope of those requests. Self-management is never as clear-cut as just going up to the boss with a comment or complaint.</p> <p class="p3"> 3) Consciousness. It takes real effort to locate the energy needed to pursue one&rsquo;s personal commercial mission consistently, every day. It is akin to the energy that entrepreneurs use to create entirely new enterprises out of ideas. Consciousness gives rise to awareness and presence, and is the source of confidence in one&rsquo;s ability to get things done&mdash;even in the face of adversity. Awareness goes right to the heart of the Morning Star Colleague Principles&mdash;understanding one&rsquo;s Rings of Responsibility requires a clear scope of awareness, especially in the primary ring.</p> <p class="p3"> 4) Contribution Mindset. Peter Drucker talked about a contribution mindset in his 1966 book, The Effective Executive. A half-century later, that mindset applies to everyone who wants to be an effective self-manager in a self-managed enterprise. This competency is referenced in the Morning Star Colleague Principles, which create an affirmative obligation for individuals to share relevant information with colleagues even when not expressly requested.</p> <p class="p3"> 5) Low Power Distance Sensitivity. Power distance refers to the concept of deferring to individuals perceived to have more power than oneself. In a self-managed environment (where collaboration is highly valued), there is an unofficial hierarchy of credibility, which springs from experience, trust, communication, and a host of other factors. This is not the same thing as a hierarchy of power based on command authority or control of others. Effective self-managers will find ways to express themselves to anyone in the organization, and will listen to anyone and everyone who wishes to talk with them. To cut off colleagues based on perceived status is to cut off information, the lifeblood of a self-managed organization. Communication is everything.</p> <p class="p2"> More information about the above from the author is in this video:&nbsp;</p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s2">&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="s4"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4n3w4kMa4">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4n3w4kMa4</a></span></span></p> <p class="p2"> From Tony:</p> <p class="p3"> I was on a Skype call with Frederic Laloux, the author of&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>. During our call, he said that as we move towards a Teal, no-manager organization, there are two really important things that we should make sure we have in place to make sure employees still perform and are still accountable to the organization even though there are no more managers.</p> <p class="p3"> First, in the human body, there are antibodies that get activated when there&#39;s a virus or disease. We need to make sure we have the same thing in our organization. We need to figure out what the antibodies are for when a small number employees take advantage of the freedom gained from being in a no-manager organization, or else it will demoralize the other employees. He said that in general, research has shown that peer-pressure based systems work the best. For certain types of job functions where there are easy metrics to measure performance, a public leaderboard ranking will naturally create peer pressure&nbsp;by showing which teams are performing and which aren&#39;t. For other types of job functions where metrics are more difficult to come by, regular peer-based presentations have been shown to be really effective, where each team presents to the other teams (once a quarter) what they are working on and why it is adding value to the company, and that will create a natural peer pressure. He suggested simply asking employees for their ideas on how to create the peer pressure and to give them the antibody analogy/framework and encourage employees to figure out the antibody systems themselves rather than try to design it from the top down.</p> <p class="p3"> Second, as we move towards self-management and self-organization, we need to have a clear process for conflict resolution. There&#39;s already a clear system described in the book (meet 1-1, and if that doesn&rsquo;t work escalate to peer council, and if that doesn&#39;t work then escalate to the CEO), which seems like an easy starting point that we can adjust as we learn what works and doesn&#39;t work. However, conflict resolution starts with the expectation that employees are responsible for taking the first step and having a 1:1 conversation with whomever they are having a conflict with (instead of going to their manager for example). He said the most important thing is the need to have a strong conflict resolution process clearly communicated and clearly understood by everyone so employees know what to do.</p> <p class="p2"> As previously stated, self-management and self-organization is not for everyone, and not everyone will necessarily want to move forward in the direction of the Best Customers Strategy and the strategy statements that were recently rolled out.&nbsp;Therefore, there will be a special version of &ldquo;the offer&rdquo; on a company-wide scale, in which each employee will be offered at least 3 months severance (and up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits)&nbsp;if he/she feels that self-management, self-organization, and our Best Customers Strategy and strategy statements as published in Glass Frog are not the right fit. (For employees that have been with Zappos for 4 or more years, the offer will be 1 month for every year worked at Zappos, along with up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits.)&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"> To qualify for the offer, you must:</p> <p class="p2"> - Be an employee in good standing</p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s2">- Watch&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk"><span class="s4">video of talk by the author of Reinventing Organizations</span></a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk"><span class="s4">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk</span></a></span></p> <p class="p2"> - Read&nbsp;Reinventing Organizations by 4/15/15 (here is a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reinventingorganizations.com/2app05d0wn10a9.html"><span class="s5">private link for Zappos employees only to download a digital copy</span></a>) or email a statement of non-intention to read to Arun and Hollie</p> <p class="p2"> - Give notice of your intention to leave anytime during the month of April 2015 if you intend to take the offer (exact last day of work TBD)</p> <p class="p2"> - Ensure a smooth transition of your prior responsibilities and accountabilities (as approved by Arun -&nbsp;please note that if you are working on a&nbsp;critical project, a longer transition time might be required)</p> <p class="p2"> Arun, Fred, Hollie, and I will be doing Q&amp;A town hall sessions about our strategy statements and our new direction on Wednesday, 3/25/15, at 12 PM-12:30 PM, 1-1:30 PM, 2-2:30 PM, and 3-3:30 PM in the Council Chambers. Please attend any of these four town halls if you have any additional questions.</p> <p class="p2"> We won&#39;t have all the answers to everything, and there are still plenty of important things for all of us to figure out together, including answers to the questions below (please email me any suggestions or if you&rsquo;d like to be involved in helping figure out any of the areas below):</p> <p class="p2"> - What&rsquo;s the right method for implementing the advice process as described in&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>?</p> <p class="p2"> - How is the contribution of each employee assessed and what are the&nbsp;compensation framework/processes in this new world of no managers?</p> <p class="p2"> - What is not currently captured in Glass Frog that we should make sure is captured?</p> <p class="p2"> - Should we update our purpose statement, and if so, what should our new purpose statement be?</p> <p class="p2"> - In light of these changes, should we delay and/or modify the next zPrize competition? (Prize-based competition is an example of another tool that can help accelerate self-organization.)</p> <p class="p2"> - What are the peer-pressure &ldquo;antibody&rdquo; systems we want to implement for the different types of job functions?</p> <p class="p2"> - What is the right conflict-resolution set of processes for Zappos?</p> <p class="p2"> - How do we support employee development and growth as a Teal organization?</p> <p class="p2"> - How do we ensure that we continue to meet our financial and Super Cloud commitments to Amazon for 2015 and beyond?</p> <p class="p2"> While I hope that there will be a lot of reflection around this email and our upcoming changes, we will still need to continue to execute on our Best Customers&nbsp;Strategy and honor our financial and Super Cloud commitments for 2015 and beyond. We still need to execute, so it will feel somewhat like trying to upgrade an airplane while we&rsquo;re still flying in the air.</p> <p class="p2"> This is a new, exciting, and bold move for Zappos. Like all the bold steps we&rsquo;ve done in the past, it feels a little scary, but it also feels like exactly the type of thing that only a company such as Zappos would dare to attempt at this scale. With our core values and culture as the foundation for everything we do, I&#39;m personally excited about all the potential creativity and energy of our employees that are just waiting for the right environment and structure to be unlocked and unleashed.</p> <p class="p2"> I can&rsquo;t wait to see how we reinvent ourselves, and&nbsp;I can&rsquo;t wait to see what unfolds next.</p> <p class="p2"> -Tony</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p class="date"> 04/08/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p class="p1"> &quot;If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.&rdquo; Henry Ford</p> <p class="p1"> An email from our CEO was recently sent to our employees that has many people interested in the future of Zappos. To understand the following memo, one must understand the steps leading up to this groundbreaking decision for the company. In 2013, Zappos implemented Holacracy, a system that removes traditional managerial hierarchies allowing employees to self-organize to complete work in a way that increases productivity, fosters innovation and empowers anyone in the company with the ability to make decisions that push the company forward.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> As we&rsquo;ve moved toward becoming a completely Holacratic organization, there have been challenges which can be expected after shifting the way people<span class="s1">&nbsp;are</span>&nbsp;instinctively used to working and thinking. One of the biggest challenges has been adopting this new way of working throughout the entire company and removing legacy management structures. As Tony states in his memo<span class="s1">&nbsp;below</span>,&nbsp;&quot;Having one foot in one world while having the other foot in the other world has slowed down our transformation towards self-management and self-organization.&quot;</p> <p class="p1"> Although there has been a lot of focus on Holocracy as our ultimate end-goal, our true journey is&nbsp;<span class="s1">to&nbsp;</span>becoming a fully&nbsp;self-managing&nbsp;organization that culminates in making our work more productive,&nbsp;fulfilling, and&nbsp;meaningful<span class="s1">.&nbsp;</span>Holacracy&nbsp;is one of the many tools we plan on using to reach&nbsp;<span class="s1">our</span>&nbsp;destination.&nbsp;This&nbsp;change isn&rsquo;t for everyone and in typical Zappos fashion, there is a severance option for those that aren&rsquo;t&nbsp;comfortable&nbsp;with this new direction.&nbsp;<span class="s1">&ldquo;</span>Embrace and Drive Change<span class="s1">&rdquo;</span>&nbsp;is&nbsp;<span class="s1">our&nbsp;</span>Core Value&nbsp;that is at the forefront of our&nbsp;minds&nbsp;lately and in order to do so<span class="s1">,</span>&nbsp;we all need to be ready and willing to explore new possibilities without losing focus on what truly makes us unique: our commitment to culture and our Core Values.<span class="s1">&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"> Below you&rsquo;ll find Tony&rsquo;s memo and a little more information on what the future holds for Zappos.</p> <hr /> <p class="p1"> This is a long email. Please take 30 minutes to read through the email in its entirety.</p> <p class="p2"> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/tony-ahm.png" style="width: 500px; height: 339px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />We&rsquo;ve been operating partially under Holacracy and partially under the legacy management hierarchy in parallel for over a year now. Having one foot in one world while having the other foot in the other world has slowed down our transformation towards self-management and self-organization. While we&rsquo;ve made decent progress on understanding the workings of the system of Holacracy and capturing&nbsp;work/accountabilities in Glass Frog, we haven&#39;t made fast enough progress towards self-management, self-organization, and more efficient structures to&nbsp;run our business. (Holacracy is just one of many tools that can help move us towards self-management and self-organization, but simply abiding by the rules of Holacracy does not equal self-management or self-organization.)</p> <p class="p2"> After many conversations and a lot of feedback about where we are today versus our desired state of self-organization, self-management, increased autonomy, and increased efficiency, we are going to take a &quot;rip the bandaid&quot; approach to accelerate progress towards becoming a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>&nbsp;(as described in the book&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>).</p> <p class="p2"> Something key to note here is that Holacracy just happens to be our current system in place to help facilitate our move to self-organization, and is one of many tools we plan to experiment with and evolve with in the future. Our main objective is not just to do Holacracy well, but to make Zappos a fully self-organized, self-managed organization by combining a variety of different tools and processes.&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>&nbsp;calls this type of organization a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>. You&rsquo;ll learn examples of successful Teal organizations below and in the book. Each of the companies cited below and in the book have different tools and processes to help with self-management and self-organization. We won&rsquo;t necessarily adopt all of them, but instead we will experiment and figure out the right tools and processes for Zappos, using Holacracy as the initial starting point and continually evolving as we dive deeper into the world of self-management and self-organization.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"> Our immediate plan over the next few months:</p> <p class="p2"> -&nbsp;<b>Teal organizations</b>&nbsp;attempt to minimize service provider groups and lean more towards creating self-organizing and self-managing business-centric groups instead.&nbsp;As of 4/30/15, in order to eliminate the legacy management hierarchy, there will be effectively be no more people managers.&nbsp;In addition, we will begin the process of breaking down our legacy silo&rsquo;ed structure/circles of merchandising, finance, tech, marketing, and other functions and create self-organizing and self-managing business-centric circles instead by starting to fund this new model with the appropriate resources needed to flourish. Functions that were previously silo&rsquo;ed will be embedded inside these&nbsp;business-centric circles instead &mdash;&nbsp;this structure will require fewer roles that primarily manage expectations and drive alignment across legacy silos.&nbsp;We will continue using Holacracy&#39;s systems and processes for prioritization and resource allocation, so it&rsquo;ll be extremely important for all of us to keep Glass Frog up to date.</p> <p class="p2"> - To be clear, managers were absolutely necessary and valuable to the growth of Zappos over the years&nbsp;<i>under our previous structure</i>. Without managers, we would not have gotten to where we are today. Historically at Zappos the &quot;manager&quot; position contained a number of different responsibilities including people management, overseeing and approving decisions, budgeting, and professional development, as well as direct work on projects and goals for the good of the team. The people management aspects of the manager role are valuable in what the book refers to as&nbsp;<b>Orange and Green organizations</b>, but do not make sense in a self-organized and self-managing&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>. While we know that the full role of managers will no longer be necessary in a&nbsp;<b>Teal organization</b>, we&rsquo;re also looking forward to seeing what new exciting contributions will come from the employees who were previously managers. All former managers who remain in good standing will still keep their salary through the end of 2015 even though their day-to-day work that formerly involved more traditional management will need to change. A new circle called&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Yourself</i>&nbsp;has been created to help guide former managers to new roles that might be a good match for their passions, skills, and experience. Hollie is the lead link of that new circle. (On our backend HRIS system, employees will still have &quot;reporting&quot; relationships solely for the purposes of maintaining compliance&nbsp;(e.g. SOX) requirements because we are part of a public company. This compliance requirement will be largely invisible to most&nbsp;employees and should not be confused with legacy reporting structures which will no longer exist.)</p> <p class="p2"> - Self-management and self-organization is not for everyone, and not everyone will want to move forward in the direction of the Best Customers Strategy and the strategy statements that were recently rolled out. As such, there will be a special version of &ldquo;the offer&rdquo; to everyone who reads&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>&nbsp;and/or meets some other criteria (outlined towards the end of this email).</p> <p class="p2"> &nbsp;- For better context, please read the two articles below first:&nbsp;<i>Misperceptions of Self-Management</i>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<i>Five Crucial Competencies of Self-Management</i></p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTIONS OF SELF-MANAGEMENT</b></p> <p class="p4"> <span class="s2">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management"><span class="s3">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p3"> June 12, 2014</p> <p class="p3"> By Frederic Laloux</p> <p class="p3"> Say &ldquo;Self-Management&rdquo; and almost everyone gets the wrong idea.</p> <p class="p3"> Self-managing structures are appearing everywhere, and get increasing attention in the media. They seem to be much more adaptative, agile, motivating than traditional pyramidal organizations, and they appear to achieve spectacular results. But is this a simple fad, or a new phenomenon destined to spread? And why are most people dismissive when you mention the possibility to run organizations &ldquo;without a boss&rdquo;?</p> <p class="p3"> Even though we are only now starting to get our heads around it, Self-Management is not a startling new invention by any means. It is the way life has operated in the world for billions of years, bringing forth creatures and ecosystems so magnificent and complex we can hardly comprehend them. Self-organization is the life force of the world, thriving on the edge of chaos with just enough order to funnel its energy, but not so much as to slow down adaptation and learning.</p> <p class="p3"> Leading scientists believe that the principal science of the next century will be the study of complex, autocatalytic, self-organizing, non-linear, and adaptive systems. This is usually referred to as &ldquo;complexity&rdquo; or &ldquo;chaos theory&rdquo;. For a long time, we thought the world operated based on Newtonian principles. We didn&rsquo;t know better and thought we needed to interfere with the life&rsquo;s self-organizing urge and try to control one another.</p> <p class="p3"> It seems we are ready now to move beyond rigid structures and let organizations truly come to life. And yet self-management is still such a new concept that many people frequently misunderstand what it is about and what it takes to make it work.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 1: THERE IS NO STRUCTURE, NO MANAGEMENT, NO LEADERSHIP</b></p> <p class="p3"> People who are new to the idea of Self-Management sometimes mistakenly assume that it simply means taking the hierarchy out of an organization and running everything democratically based on consensus. There is, of course, much more to it. Self-Management, just like the traditional pyramidal model it replaces, works with an interlocking set of structures, processes, and practices; these inform how teams are set up, how decisions get made, how roles are defined and distributed, how salaries are set, how people are recruited or dismissed, and so on.</p> <p class="p3"> What often puzzles us at first about self-managing organizations is that they are not structured along the control-minded hierarchical templates of Newtonian science. They are complex, participatory, interconnected, interdependent, and continually evolving systems, like ecosystems in nature. Form follows need. Roles are picked up, discarded, and exchanged fluidly. Power is distributed. Decisions are made at the point of origin. Innovations can spring up from all quarters. Meetings are held when they are needed. Temporary task forces are created spontaneously and quickly disbanded again. Here is how Chris Rufer, the founder and president of Morning Star, talks about the structure of self-managing organizations:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>Clouds form and then go away because atmospheric conditions, temperatures, and humidity cause molecules of water to either condense or vaporize. Organizations should be the same; structures need to appear and disappear based on the forces that are acting in the organization. When people are free to act, they&rsquo;re able to sense those forces and act in ways that fit best with reality.</i></p> <p class="p3"> The tasks of management?setting direction and objectives, planning, directing, controlling, and evaluating?haven&rsquo;t disappeared. They are simply no longer concentrated in dedicated management roles. Because they are spread widely, not narrowly, it can be argued that there is more management and leadership happening at any time in self-managing organizations despite, or rather precisely because of, the absence of fulltime managers.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 2: EVERYONE IS EQUAL</b></p> <p class="p3"> For as long as human memory goes back, the problem of power inequality has plagued life in organizations. Much of the pervasive fear that runs silently through organizations?and much of the politics, the silos, the greed, blaming, and resentment that feed on fear?stem from the unequal distribution of power.</p> <p class="p3"> Interestingly, the interlocking structures and processes allowing for self-organization do not resolve the question of power inequality; they transcend it. Attempting to resolve the problem of power inequality would call for everyone to be given the same power. Cooperatives, for instance, have sought in equal ownership a method to divide power equally. Interestingly, none of the organizations I have researched for the book Reinventing Organizations are employee-owned; the question of employee ownership doesn&rsquo;t seem to matter very much when power is truly distributed.</p> <p class="p3"> The right question is not: how can everyone have equal power? It is rather: how can everyone be powerful? Power is not viewed as a zero-sum game, where the power I have is necessarily power taken away from you. Instead, if we acknowledge that we are all interconnected, the more powerful you are, the more powerful I can become. The more powerfully you advance the organization&rsquo;s purpose, the more opportunities will open up for me to make contributions of my own.</p> <p class="p3"> Here we stumble upon a beautiful paradox: people can hold different levels of power, and yet everyone can be powerful. If I&rsquo;m a machine operator?if my background, education, interests, and talents predispose me for such work?my scope of concern will be more limited than yours, if your roles involve coordinating the design of a whole new factory. And yet, if within what matters to me, I can take all necessary actions using the advice process, I have all the power I need.</p> <p class="p3"> This paradox cannot be understood with the unspoken metaphor we hold today of organizations as machines. In a machine, a small turn of the big cog at the top can send lots of little cogs spinning. The reverse isn&rsquo;t true?the little cog at the bottom can try as hard as it pleases, but it has little power to move the bigger cog. The metaphor of nature as a complex, self-organizing system can much better accommodate this paradox. In an ecosystem, interconnected organisms thrive without one holding power over another. A fern or a mushroom can express its full selfhood without ever reaching out as far into the sky as the tree next to which it grows. Through a complex collaboration involving exchanges of nutrients, moisture, and shade, the mushroom, fern, and tree don&rsquo;t compete but cooperate to grow into the biggest and healthiest version of themselves.</p> <p class="p3"> It&rsquo;s the same in self-managing organizations: the point is not to make everyone equal; it is to allow all employees to grow into the strongest, healthiest version of themselves. Gone is the dominator hierarchy (the structure where bosses hold power over their subordinates). And precisely for that reason, lots of natural, evolving, overlapping hierarchies can emerge?hierarchies of development, skill, talent, expertise, and recognition, for example. This is a point that management author Gary Hamel noted about Morning Star:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>Morning Star is a collection of naturally dynamic hierarchies. There isn&rsquo;t one formal hierarchy; there are many informal ones. On any issue some colleagues will have a bigger say than others will, depending on their expertise and willingness to help. These are hierarchies of influence, not position, and they&rsquo;re built from the bottom up. At Morning Star one accumulates authority by demonstrating expertise, helping peers, and adding value. Stop doing those things, and your influence wanes&mdash;as will your pay.</i></p> <p class="p3"> So really, these organizations are anything but &ldquo;flat,&rdquo; a word often used for organizations with little or no hierarchy. On the contrary, they are alive and moving in all directions, allowing anyone to reach out for opportunities. How high you reach depends on your talents, your interests, your character, and the support you inspire from colleagues; it is no longer artificially constrained by the organization chart.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 3: IT&rsquo;S ABOUT EMPOWERMENT</b></p> <p class="p3"> Many organizations today claim to be empowering. But note the painful irony in that statement. If employees need to be empowered, it is because the system&rsquo;s very design concentrates power at the top and makes people at the lower rungs essentially powerless, unless leaders are generous enough to share some of their power. In self-managing organizations, people are not empowered by the good graces of other people. Empowerment is baked into the very fabric of the organization, into its structure, processes, and practices. Individuals need not fight for power. They simply have it. For people experiencing Self-Management for the first time, the ride can be bittersweet at first. With freedom comes responsibility: you can no longer throw problems, harsh decisions, or difficult calls up the hierarchy and let your bosses take care of it. You can&rsquo;t take refuge in blame, apathy, or resentfulness. Everybody needs to grow up and take full responsibility for their thoughts and actions?a steep learning curve for some people. Former leaders and managers sometimes find it is a huge relief not having to deal with everybody else&rsquo;s problems. But many also feel the phantom pain of not being able to wield their former positional power.</p> <p class="p3"> Many leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of organizational design focus their energy today on the question of how leaders can become more conscious. The thinking goes as follows: if only leaders could be more caring, more humble, more empowering, better listeners, more aware of the shadow they cast, they would wield their power more carefully and would create healthier and more productive organizations. Brian Robertson, the founder of Holacracy, put it well in a blog post:</p> <p class="p3"> <i>We see attempts for leaders to develop to be more conscious, aware, awake, servant leaders that are empowering. &hellip; And yet, the irony: &hellip; If you need someone else to carefully wield their power and hold their space for you, then you are a victim. This is the irony of empowerment, and yet there is very little else we can do within our conventional operating system other than try our best to be conscious, empowering leaders.</i></p> <p class="p3"> If we can&rsquo;t think outside the pyramid, then indeed, as Robertson notes, the best we can do is try to patch up the unhealthy consequences of power inequality with more enlightened leadership. Pioneer self-managing organizations show that it&rsquo;s possible to transcend the problem of power inequality and not just patch it up. We can reinvent the basic structures and practices of organizations to make everyone powerful and no one powerless.</p> <p class="p3"> <b>MISPERCEPTION 4: IT&rsquo;S STILL EXPERIMENTAL</b></p> <p class="p3"> Another common misconception is that Self-Management might still be an experimental form of management. That is no longer true: Self-Management has proven its worth time and again,&nbsp; on both small and large scales and in various types of industry. W. L. Gore, a chemical manufacturing company best known for its Gore-Tex fabrics, has been operating on self-organizing principles since its founding in the late 1950s. Whole Foods, with its 60,000 employees and $9 billion in revenue, operates its more than 300 stores with self-governing units (the rest of the organization has more traditional hierarchical structures). Each store consists of roughly eight self-managing units, such as produce, seafood, and check-out (central services are run with a traditional, albeit empowered hierarchy).</p> <p class="p3"> The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has operated since its founding in 1972 on entirely self-managing principles. The orchestra, with residence in New York&rsquo;s Carnegie Hall, has earned rave reviews and is widely regarded as one of the world&rsquo;s great orchestras. It operates without a conductor. Musicians from the orchestra make all artistic decisions, from choosing the repertoire to deciding how a piece ought to be played. They decide who to recruit, where to play, and with whom to collaborate.</p> <p class="p3"> Virtual and volunteer-driven organizations practice Self-Management on staggering scales. In 2012, Wikipedia had 100,000 active contributors. It is estimated that around the same number?100,000 people?have contributed to Linux. If these numbers sound large, they are dwarfed by other volunteer organizations. Alcoholics Anonymous currently has 1.8 million members participating in over 100,000 groups worldwide?each of them operating entirely on self-managing principles, structures, and practices.</p> <p class="p3"> I believe it is because we have grown up with traditional hierarchical organizations that we find it so hard to get our heads around Self-Management. Young people, on the other hand, who have grown up with the Web (variously referred to as Millennials, Generation Y) &ldquo;get&rdquo; self-management instinctively. On the web, management writer Gary Hamel notes:</p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li3"> <i>No one can kill a good idea</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Everyone can pitch in</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Anyone can lead</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>No one can dictate</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You get to choose your cause</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You can easily build on top of what others have done</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>You don&rsquo;t have to put up with bullies and tyrants</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Agitators don&rsquo;t get marginalized</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Excellence usually wins (and mediocrity doesn&rsquo;t)</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Passion-killing policies get reversed</i></li> <li class="li3"> <i>Great contributions get recognized and celebrated</i></li> </ul> <p class="p3"> Many organizational leaders and human resource managers complain that Millennials are hard to manage. Indeed, this generation has grown up in the disruptive world of the Internet, where people&rsquo;s influence is based on contribution and reputation, not position. Why would they want to put up with anything other than self-management in the workplace? Why would anyone else, for that matter?</p> <p class="p3"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"> <b>FIVE CRUCIAL COMPETENCIES OF SELF-MANAGEMENT</b></p> <p class="p4"> <span class="s2">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/five-crucial-competencies-of-self-management"><span class="s3">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/five-crucial-competencies-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p3"> April 17, 2014</p> <p class="p3"> By Doug Kirkpatrick</p> <p class="p3"> While there are many competencies that enable effective self-management (excellent communication skills, solid teamwork, good judgment), there are many other, less obvious competencies that impact one&rsquo;s ability to navigate and perform at a high level in a self-managed ecosystem. Here are five candidates for consideration.</p> <p class="p3"> 1) Taking Initiative. This characteristic is expressly called for in the Morning Star Colleague Principles. It&rsquo;s very hard to deliver constructive feedback to colleagues or cause positive change in processes without a willingness to take the initiative to do so. Taking initiative includes the willingness and ability to speak up when necessary.</p> <p class="p3"> 2) Tolerance for Ambiguity. Self-management can be messy as new colleagues meet new people, engage with new processes, and learn a new way of working. Negotiating a Colleague Letter of Understanding (CLOU) that clearly communicates one&rsquo;s mission, process stewardships and performance metrics with affected stakeholders takes time and effort. Choices must be made regarding what requests to make of other colleagues and the timing and scope of those requests. Self-management is never as clear-cut as just going up to the boss with a comment or complaint.</p> <p class="p3"> 3) Consciousness. It takes real effort to locate the energy needed to pursue one&rsquo;s personal commercial mission consistently, every day. It is akin to the energy that entrepreneurs use to create entirely new enterprises out of ideas. Consciousness gives rise to awareness and presence, and is the source of confidence in one&rsquo;s ability to get things done&mdash;even in the face of adversity. Awareness goes right to the heart of the Morning Star Colleague Principles&mdash;understanding one&rsquo;s Rings of Responsibility requires a clear scope of awareness, especially in the primary ring.</p> <p class="p3"> 4) Contribution Mindset. Peter Drucker talked about a contribution mindset in his 1966 book, The Effective Executive. A half-century later, that mindset applies to everyone who wants to be an effective self-manager in a self-managed enterprise. This competency is referenced in the Morning Star Colleague Principles, which create an affirmative obligation for individuals to share relevant information with colleagues even when not expressly requested.</p> <p class="p3"> 5) Low Power Distance Sensitivity. Power distance refers to the concept of deferring to individuals perceived to have more power than oneself. In a self-managed environment (where collaboration is highly valued), there is an unofficial hierarchy of credibility, which springs from experience, trust, communication, and a host of other factors. This is not the same thing as a hierarchy of power based on command authority or control of others. Effective self-managers will find ways to express themselves to anyone in the organization, and will listen to anyone and everyone who wishes to talk with them. To cut off colleagues based on perceived status is to cut off information, the lifeblood of a self-managed organization. Communication is everything.</p> <p class="p2"> More information about the above from the author is in this video:&nbsp;</p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s2">&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="s4"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4n3w4kMa4">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4n3w4kMa4</a></span></span></p> <p class="p2"> From Tony:</p> <p class="p3"> I was on a Skype call with Frederic Laloux, the author of&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>. During our call, he said that as we move towards a Teal, no-manager organization, there are two really important things that we should make sure we have in place to make sure employees still perform and are still accountable to the organization even though there are no more managers.</p> <p class="p3"> First, in the human body, there are antibodies that get activated when there&#39;s a virus or disease. We need to make sure we have the same thing in our organization. We need to figure out what the antibodies are for when a small number employees take advantage of the freedom gained from being in a no-manager organization, or else it will demoralize the other employees. He said that in general, research has shown that peer-pressure based systems work the best. For certain types of job functions where there are easy metrics to measure performance, a public leaderboard ranking will naturally create peer pressure&nbsp;by showing which teams are performing and which aren&#39;t. For other types of job functions where metrics are more difficult to come by, regular peer-based presentations have been shown to be really effective, where each team presents to the other teams (once a quarter) what they are working on and why it is adding value to the company, and that will create a natural peer pressure. He suggested simply asking employees for their ideas on how to create the peer pressure and to give them the antibody analogy/framework and encourage employees to figure out the antibody systems themselves rather than try to design it from the top down.</p> <p class="p3"> Second, as we move towards self-management and self-organization, we need to have a clear process for conflict resolution. There&#39;s already a clear system described in the book (meet 1-1, and if that doesn&rsquo;t work escalate to peer council, and if that doesn&#39;t work then escalate to the CEO), which seems like an easy starting point that we can adjust as we learn what works and doesn&#39;t work. However, conflict resolution starts with the expectation that employees are responsible for taking the first step and having a 1:1 conversation with whomever they are having a conflict with (instead of going to their manager for example). He said the most important thing is the need to have a strong conflict resolution process clearly communicated and clearly understood by everyone so employees know what to do.</p> <p class="p2"> As previously stated, self-management and self-organization is not for everyone, and not everyone will necessarily want to move forward in the direction of the Best Customers Strategy and the strategy statements that were recently rolled out.&nbsp;Therefore, there will be a special version of &ldquo;the offer&rdquo; on a company-wide scale, in which each employee will be offered at least 3 months severance (and up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits)&nbsp;if he/she feels that self-management, self-organization, and our Best Customers Strategy and strategy statements as published in Glass Frog are not the right fit. (For employees that have been with Zappos for 4 or more years, the offer will be 1 month for every year worked at Zappos, along with up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits.)&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"> To qualify for the offer, you must:</p> <p class="p2"> - Be an employee in good standing</p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s2">- Watch&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk"><span class="s4">video of talk by the author of Reinventing Organizations</span></a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk"><span class="s4">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcS04BI2sbk</span></a></span></p> <p class="p2"> - Read&nbsp;Reinventing Organizations by 4/15/15 (here is a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reinventingorganizations.com/2app05d0wn10a9.html"><span class="s5">private link for Zappos employees only to download a digital copy</span></a>) or email a statement of non-intention to read to Arun and Hollie</p> <p class="p2"> - Give notice of your intention to leave anytime during the month of April 2015 if you intend to take the offer (exact last day of work TBD)</p> <p class="p2"> - Ensure a smooth transition of your prior responsibilities and accountabilities (as approved by Arun -&nbsp;please note that if you are working on a&nbsp;critical project, a longer transition time might be required)</p> <p class="p2"> Arun, Fred, Hollie, and I will be doing Q&amp;A town hall sessions about our strategy statements and our new direction on Wednesday, 3/25/15, at 12 PM-12:30 PM, 1-1:30 PM, 2-2:30 PM, and 3-3:30 PM in the Council Chambers. Please attend any of these four town halls if you have any additional questions.</p> <p class="p2"> We won&#39;t have all the answers to everything, and there are still plenty of important things for all of us to figure out together, including answers to the questions below (please email me any suggestions or if you&rsquo;d like to be involved in helping figure out any of the areas below):</p> <p class="p2"> - What&rsquo;s the right method for implementing the advice process as described in&nbsp;<i>Reinventing Organizations</i>?</p> <p class="p2"> - How is the contribution of each employee assessed and what are the&nbsp;compensation framework/processes in this new world of no managers?</p> <p class="p2"> - What is not currently captured in Glass Frog that we should make sure is captured?</p> <p class="p2"> - Should we update our purpose statement, and if so, what should our new purpose statement be?</p> <p class="p2"> - In light of these changes, should we delay and/or modify the next zPrize competition? (Prize-based competition is an example of another tool that can help accelerate self-organization.)</p> <p class="p2"> - What are the peer-pressure &ldquo;antibody&rdquo; systems we want to implement for the different types of job functions?</p> <p class="p2"> - What is the right conflict-resolution set of processes for Zappos?</p> <p class="p2"> - How do we support employee development and growth as a Teal organization?</p> <p class="p2"> - How do we ensure that we continue to meet our financial and Super Cloud commitments to Amazon for 2015 and beyond?</p> <p class="p2"> While I hope that there will be a lot of reflection around this email and our upcoming changes, we will still need to continue to execute on our Best Customers&nbsp;Strategy and honor our financial and Super Cloud commitments for 2015 and beyond. We still need to execute, so it will feel somewhat like trying to upgrade an airplane while we&rsquo;re still flying in the air.</p> <p class="p2"> This is a new, exciting, and bold move for Zappos. Like all the bold steps we&rsquo;ve done in the past, it feels a little scary, but it also feels like exactly the type of thing that only a company such as Zappos would dare to attempt at this scale. With our core values and culture as the foundation for everything we do, I&#39;m personally excited about all the potential creativity and energy of our employees that are just waiting for the right environment and structure to be unlocked and unleashed.</p> <p class="p2"> I can&rsquo;t wait to see how we reinvent ourselves, and&nbsp;I can&rsquo;t wait to see what unfolds next.</p> <p class="p2"> -Tony</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:36:09 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh Let’s Work Happily Ever After: The Business Case for Culture (Guest Post) http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/lets-work-happily-ever-after-the-business-case-for-culture <p class="date"> 03/19/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Workers want to be engaged. Companies want workers to be engaged. So what&rsquo;s the problem? Just like with wedding engagements, there&rsquo;s a lot to more to do. It&rsquo;s not as simple as grabbing anybody off the street and telling them when and where to show up. People want to feel united in purpose. Chosen. Engagement starts with a strong company culture. But in order for culture to engage people, first, it must be communicated.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The big buzzwords for 2015 are: Engagement and Culture</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/2014-word-of-the-year/culture.html">Culture was the biggest word of 2014</a>&nbsp;and it&rsquo;s gaining momentum in 2015. The reason companies are focusing on culture is because the majority of workers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">51%, are &quot;not engaged&quot;,&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">and worse, 17.5% are &quot;actively disengaged&quot;</a>.</p> <p> So, where is the disconnect? If companies want workers to be engaged and workers want it, too&mdash;&nbsp;why does it happen? Just like a bad first date, it starts with the first point of contact. What do most companies communicate about themselves? Most companies tell workers what they need from them to be successful: bottom-line metrics, activity goals, and lots of professional buzzwords.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Confetti.Cloud.2-sclaed.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Companies that make conscious choices about revealing who they are and how they invest in workers create&nbsp;trust and engagement. Yet most the majority of companies don&rsquo;t tell their story well. Most job postings only focus on two things: where the company is located and what the duties of the job are. That is not compelling to job seekers (or customers). Where is the love? Where is the purpose? Where is the culture? Workers want to feel like they are part of something really special, but most companies don&rsquo;t reveal what makes them special until the interview or worse, during on-boarding. Only a handful of companies (Zappos is one) understand that company culture is directly related to engagement.</p> <p> For many companies, culture is a &ldquo;set it and forget it&rdquo; idea. Yet, leadership who understand the power of culture as a strategic initiative are WINNING. I see it all the time. Companies that talk about wanting better engagement distribute once per&nbsp;year employee engagement surveys. That&rsquo;s the extent of their strategy. Real initiatives require resources, time,&nbsp;and money. Zappos works to build a unique culture and communicate it in an accessible way. Candidates love it. Customers love it. Transparency rules.</p> <p> Companies that want to improve engagement must:&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Understand their culture first. Start with where you are today. Look at how you invest in your workers and in your community. That will tell you a lot about your culture. What kind of training and development opportunities do you offer? Do you invest in a wellness program for workers to stay healthy? Do you have career coaches or offer lunch with the CEO monthly? Everything you do reveals your culture.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After you have a baseline understanding of how you invest in your culture, you need to communicate it. Transparency wins. Do your candidates, current employees, hiring managers, and customers understand all of the programs, perks,&nbsp;and values you invest in? Branding is never done. Communicate it. Communicate it. Communicate it.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Continue to learn from companies you admire. What are they doing to attract talent? Explore if that could make sense for your organization. Ask your workers what they like best about working there.</p> <p> There is no single source for building a strong culture. Just like there&rsquo;s no &ldquo;silver bullet&rdquo; to keeping everyone engaged. Engagement is a process of trust and communication. It starts with a transparent culture. For companies that invest in making their cultures&nbsp;unique and communicate it, they will continue to&nbsp;win loyalty and engagement with their workers.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com\in\betsyrowbottom">Betsy Rowbottom</a>, Cofounder, The Good Jobs. <a href="http://thegoodjobs.com/">The Good Jobs</a>&nbsp;helps companies to define their cultures&nbsp;and communicate it to the world. We believe culture is the best competitive advantage.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 03/19/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Workers want to be engaged. Companies want workers to be engaged. So what&rsquo;s the problem? Just like with wedding engagements, there&rsquo;s a lot to more to do. It&rsquo;s not as simple as grabbing anybody off the street and telling them when and where to show up. People want to feel united in purpose. Chosen. Engagement starts with a strong company culture. But in order for culture to engage people, first, it must be communicated.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The big buzzwords for 2015 are: Engagement and Culture</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/2014-word-of-the-year/culture.html">Culture was the biggest word of 2014</a>&nbsp;and it&rsquo;s gaining momentum in 2015. The reason companies are focusing on culture is because the majority of workers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">51%, are &quot;not engaged&quot;,&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">and worse, 17.5% are &quot;actively disengaged&quot;</a>.</p> <p> So, where is the disconnect? If companies want workers to be engaged and workers want it, too&mdash;&nbsp;why does it happen? Just like a bad first date, it starts with the first point of contact. What do most companies communicate about themselves? Most companies tell workers what they need from them to be successful: bottom-line metrics, activity goals, and lots of professional buzzwords.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Confetti.Cloud.2-sclaed.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Companies that make conscious choices about revealing who they are and how they invest in workers create&nbsp;trust and engagement. Yet most the majority of companies don&rsquo;t tell their story well. Most job postings only focus on two things: where the company is located and what the duties of the job are. That is not compelling to job seekers (or customers). Where is the love? Where is the purpose? Where is the culture? Workers want to feel like they are part of something really special, but most companies don&rsquo;t reveal what makes them special until the interview or worse, during on-boarding. Only a handful of companies (Zappos is one) understand that company culture is directly related to engagement.</p> <p> For many companies, culture is a &ldquo;set it and forget it&rdquo; idea. Yet, leadership who understand the power of culture as a strategic initiative are WINNING. I see it all the time. Companies that talk about wanting better engagement distribute once per&nbsp;year employee engagement surveys. That&rsquo;s the extent of their strategy. Real initiatives require resources, time,&nbsp;and money. Zappos works to build a unique culture and communicate it in an accessible way. Candidates love it. Customers love it. Transparency rules.</p> <p> Companies that want to improve engagement must:&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Understand their culture first. Start with where you are today. Look at how you invest in your workers and in your community. That will tell you a lot about your culture. What kind of training and development opportunities do you offer? Do you invest in a wellness program for workers to stay healthy? Do you have career coaches or offer lunch with the CEO monthly? Everything you do reveals your culture.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After you have a baseline understanding of how you invest in your culture, you need to communicate it. Transparency wins. Do your candidates, current employees, hiring managers, and customers understand all of the programs, perks,&nbsp;and values you invest in? Branding is never done. Communicate it. Communicate it. Communicate it.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Continue to learn from companies you admire. What are they doing to attract talent? Explore if that could make sense for your organization. Ask your workers what they like best about working there.</p> <p> There is no single source for building a strong culture. Just like there&rsquo;s no &ldquo;silver bullet&rdquo; to keeping everyone engaged. Engagement is a process of trust and communication. It starts with a transparent culture. For companies that invest in making their cultures&nbsp;unique and communicate it, they will continue to&nbsp;win loyalty and engagement with their workers.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com\in\betsyrowbottom">Betsy Rowbottom</a>, Cofounder, The Good Jobs. <a href="http://thegoodjobs.com/">The Good Jobs</a>&nbsp;helps companies to define their cultures&nbsp;and communicate it to the world. We believe culture is the best competitive advantage.</p> </div> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:28:41 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/lets-work-happily-ever-after-the-business-case-for-culture My Entire Life I've Been a Doodler http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/my-entire-life-ive-been-a-doodler <p class="date"> 02/04/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">During elementary school, I&rsquo;d spend class doodling strange monsters or made-up superheroes saving the day. For me, this was my escape from a world in which I was bullied and relentlessly made fun of; kids are mean and there&rsquo;s no guidebook for public school survival. The only coping mechanism I realized I had was the pencil and a piece of paper, so I focused on that made-up world instead.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">This form of escapism persisted through my college years and post-college jobs that offered no form of fulfillment. I found myself dreading Mondays, uneager to face the day, which led to days of self-skepticism in the direction of my career. Meanwhile, I continued to sketch little monsters.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Doodle.Blog.Image.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />Fast forward a few years and I hear of a local company making big waves called Zappos. I spoke with a few friends whom worked there and they allgushed about the culture, the core values, and impact their work had on the overall vision of the company. However, most importantly, they said they were happy.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">To me, this was a foreign subject. Happiness at work? Was that possible? My parents and grandparents always reinforced the idea that work isn&rsquo;t supposed to be fun, it&rsquo;s supposed to be&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box;">work</em>.&nbsp;For too many this is the case. For instance, the Seminole new wave band LOVERBOY wrote an entire song about this aptly called, &ldquo;Working for the Weekend.&rdquo; So many people put up with their work hours just to get off to their downtime.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">So I took a chance and applied at Zappos and, luckily for me, was accepted after a few interview processes. (It may take a few times, but persistence is key. Trust me, it&rsquo;s worth it!) And sure enough, my friends were right about this place. I remember walking into work my first day and a Nerf gun dart zoomed past me and I thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m exactly where I&rsquo;m supposed to be.&rdquo;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There isn&rsquo;t a day that I am not thankful that I decided to choose happiness over complacency. Every day is challenging, different, and full of happiness. You&rsquo;ll never meet a group of people that truly enjoy each other like you do at Zappos; it truly is a family environment, and I couldn&rsquo;t be happier.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">Oh, and about those doodles! Well, the other great thing about this company is through one of our core values, we&rsquo;re empowered to pursue growth and learning, be passionate and determined and, most importantly, create fun and a little weirdness. So I&rsquo;m not wasting my time drawing little monsters anymore on pieces of paper. Nope, now I&rsquo;m able to spice up the walls here at work for others to enjoy!</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There&rsquo;s a curated art program on campus that allows employees to paint murals, conference rooms, etc. here at headquarters. Many of those that partake have never painted anything on a scale of this size (including myself), and so it allows individuals to really hone in on their artistic leanings. To be able to work, play, and paint in such an amazing place still makes me smile ear to ear. It&rsquo;s unlike any other company on Earth.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">In fact, there was an entire gallery show curated by Mr. Brian &ldquo;Paco&rdquo; Alvarez, our campus curator, which featured employees who painted a mural along with influential local artists! The gallery show hung most of late 2014 and featured some of my favorite artists and fellow downtown Las Vegas collaborators: Juan Muniz, Bubblegum Nightmare, Snipt!, Miguel Hernandez, and many, many more! If you&rsquo;re interested in taking an art tour at Zappos, you can sign up here:&nbsp;</span><u style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: blue;"><a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.4em; background: transparent;">www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour</a></span></u><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">. I highly recommend it!</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">If you&rsquo;re ever here for a tour, come by and say hello, or if you see my little monster, Yerman the Sad Yeti, on a wall, give him a high five!</span></p> </div> <p class="date"> 02/04/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">During elementary school, I&rsquo;d spend class doodling strange monsters or made-up superheroes saving the day. For me, this was my escape from a world in which I was bullied and relentlessly made fun of; kids are mean and there&rsquo;s no guidebook for public school survival. The only coping mechanism I realized I had was the pencil and a piece of paper, so I focused on that made-up world instead.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">This form of escapism persisted through my college years and post-college jobs that offered no form of fulfillment. I found myself dreading Mondays, uneager to face the day, which led to days of self-skepticism in the direction of my career. Meanwhile, I continued to sketch little monsters.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Doodle.Blog.Image.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />Fast forward a few years and I hear of a local company making big waves called Zappos. I spoke with a few friends whom worked there and they allgushed about the culture, the core values, and impact their work had on the overall vision of the company. However, most importantly, they said they were happy.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">To me, this was a foreign subject. Happiness at work? Was that possible? My parents and grandparents always reinforced the idea that work isn&rsquo;t supposed to be fun, it&rsquo;s supposed to be&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box;">work</em>.&nbsp;For too many this is the case. For instance, the Seminole new wave band LOVERBOY wrote an entire song about this aptly called, &ldquo;Working for the Weekend.&rdquo; So many people put up with their work hours just to get off to their downtime.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">So I took a chance and applied at Zappos and, luckily for me, was accepted after a few interview processes. (It may take a few times, but persistence is key. Trust me, it&rsquo;s worth it!) And sure enough, my friends were right about this place. I remember walking into work my first day and a Nerf gun dart zoomed past me and I thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m exactly where I&rsquo;m supposed to be.&rdquo;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There isn&rsquo;t a day that I am not thankful that I decided to choose happiness over complacency. Every day is challenging, different, and full of happiness. You&rsquo;ll never meet a group of people that truly enjoy each other like you do at Zappos; it truly is a family environment, and I couldn&rsquo;t be happier.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">Oh, and about those doodles! Well, the other great thing about this company is through one of our core values, we&rsquo;re empowered to pursue growth and learning, be passionate and determined and, most importantly, create fun and a little weirdness. So I&rsquo;m not wasting my time drawing little monsters anymore on pieces of paper. Nope, now I&rsquo;m able to spice up the walls here at work for others to enjoy!</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There&rsquo;s a curated art program on campus that allows employees to paint murals, conference rooms, etc. here at headquarters. Many of those that partake have never painted anything on a scale of this size (including myself), and so it allows individuals to really hone in on their artistic leanings. To be able to work, play, and paint in such an amazing place still makes me smile ear to ear. It&rsquo;s unlike any other company on Earth.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">In fact, there was an entire gallery show curated by Mr. Brian &ldquo;Paco&rdquo; Alvarez, our campus curator, which featured employees who painted a mural along with influential local artists! The gallery show hung most of late 2014 and featured some of my favorite artists and fellow downtown Las Vegas collaborators: Juan Muniz, Bubblegum Nightmare, Snipt!, Miguel Hernandez, and many, many more! If you&rsquo;re interested in taking an art tour at Zappos, you can sign up here:&nbsp;</span><u style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: blue;"><a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.4em; background: transparent;">www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour</a></span></u><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">. I highly recommend it!</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">If you&rsquo;re ever here for a tour, come by and say hello, or if you see my little monster, Yerman the Sad Yeti, on a wall, give him a high five!</span></p> </div> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/my-entire-life-ive-been-a-doodler The Importance of Staying Connected to Your Customers http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-importance-of-staying-connected-to-your-customers <p class="date"> 12/03/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> There&rsquo;s a plethora of examples of what happens when a company loses touch with its customers, what they want, and its brand identity. Any infamous PR disasters come to mind? Like any relationship, that of a company and its customer needs constant nourishing if it&#39;s going to survive, and if you don&rsquo;t treat your customer right, there&rsquo;s another company out there who will.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> One prime example of how Zappos strives to stay connected with its customers is happening right now, and if you call in during the <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/HolidayHelp.Tony-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 25px;" />next few weeks, you&rsquo;ll catch a glimpse of it! It&rsquo;s our Holiday Helper program; a Q4 tradition as well as a reminder of our roots.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Since the beginning, no matter what products Zappos offers, the level of service we strive to provide has always been the common denominator. That principle is the driving force behind everything Zappos does. The customer comes first, and each employee is always encouraged to remember that regardless of what department he or she works in.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> During the mad rush of the holiday shopping season, the retail world feels the buzz in the air, the faster pace, and the higher volume of everything: product, calls, and customers. As Zappos defined what it wanted its level of service to be, it found a challenge during the flurry that is the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter. Given the rigorous hiring and training process at Zappos, how could it maintain the personality of the company and that personal connection with the customer especially at peak time? It was out of that question that Holiday Helper was born.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Borrowing from part of the Zappos New Hire Training program where each new hire spends 40 hours on the phones, every employee spends 10 hours on the phones during Zappos&rsquo; busiest season. Not only does this let everyone get to know our customers first hand, but it allows us to deliver some WOW in our own individual ways. The benefits of Holiday Helper are far reaching, from being able to maintain the same level of service regardless of how busy it gets, to each employee from the CEO to the newest member of the Customer Loyalty Team having a chance to interact with Zappos&#39; amazing customers and being reminded of why Zappos exists in the first place. &quot;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is all of the employees banding together to Deliver WOW Through Service,&rdquo; says Regina Renda, Customer Loyalty Team representative. Megan Petrini, Senior New Hire Trainer, adds, &ldquo;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is having the chance to impact a customer&#39;s life in a positive way. It reaffirms what it is that we stand for when you get the chance to go and do it for real.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Holiday Helper also provides valuable insight into what our customers need. &ldquo;All of our other departments get a chance to ask for real-time feedback from our customers,&rdquo; says Petrini. Buyers from the Merchandising department can get feedback on everything from assortment to demand while members of the User Experience team may think of a new tool or design to make the site even more user-friendly for our customer base &ndash; all from just talking with our customers. Shopping your company&rsquo;s own product is one thing, but shopping it with one of your actual customers adds a whole new perspective.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So whether you&#39;re calling for the first time - or the fiftieth! - during the craziest time of the year, you may just get CEO Tony Hsieh helping you shop for that perfect pair of winter boots, or someone might answer your call by singing you a song, and either way, one thing will be really clear: especially during Zappos Holiday Helper season, Fun and A Little Weirdness are always just a phone call away!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 12/03/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> There&rsquo;s a plethora of examples of what happens when a company loses touch with its customers, what they want, and its brand identity. Any infamous PR disasters come to mind? Like any relationship, that of a company and its customer needs constant nourishing if it&#39;s going to survive, and if you don&rsquo;t treat your customer right, there&rsquo;s another company out there who will.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> One prime example of how Zappos strives to stay connected with its customers is happening right now, and if you call in during the <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/HolidayHelp.Tony-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 25px;" />next few weeks, you&rsquo;ll catch a glimpse of it! It&rsquo;s our Holiday Helper program; a Q4 tradition as well as a reminder of our roots.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Since the beginning, no matter what products Zappos offers, the level of service we strive to provide has always been the common denominator. That principle is the driving force behind everything Zappos does. The customer comes first, and each employee is always encouraged to remember that regardless of what department he or she works in.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> During the mad rush of the holiday shopping season, the retail world feels the buzz in the air, the faster pace, and the higher volume of everything: product, calls, and customers. As Zappos defined what it wanted its level of service to be, it found a challenge during the flurry that is the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter. Given the rigorous hiring and training process at Zappos, how could it maintain the personality of the company and that personal connection with the customer especially at peak time? It was out of that question that Holiday Helper was born.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Borrowing from part of the Zappos New Hire Training program where each new hire spends 40 hours on the phones, every employee spends 10 hours on the phones during Zappos&rsquo; busiest season. Not only does this let everyone get to know our customers first hand, but it allows us to deliver some WOW in our own individual ways. The benefits of Holiday Helper are far reaching, from being able to maintain the same level of service regardless of how busy it gets, to each employee from the CEO to the newest member of the Customer Loyalty Team having a chance to interact with Zappos&#39; amazing customers and being reminded of why Zappos exists in the first place. &quot;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is all of the employees banding together to Deliver WOW Through Service,&rdquo; says Regina Renda, Customer Loyalty Team representative. Megan Petrini, Senior New Hire Trainer, adds, &ldquo;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is having the chance to impact a customer&#39;s life in a positive way. It reaffirms what it is that we stand for when you get the chance to go and do it for real.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Holiday Helper also provides valuable insight into what our customers need. &ldquo;All of our other departments get a chance to ask for real-time feedback from our customers,&rdquo; says Petrini. Buyers from the Merchandising department can get feedback on everything from assortment to demand while members of the User Experience team may think of a new tool or design to make the site even more user-friendly for our customer base &ndash; all from just talking with our customers. Shopping your company&rsquo;s own product is one thing, but shopping it with one of your actual customers adds a whole new perspective.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So whether you&#39;re calling for the first time - or the fiftieth! - during the craziest time of the year, you may just get CEO Tony Hsieh helping you shop for that perfect pair of winter boots, or someone might answer your call by singing you a song, and either way, one thing will be really clear: especially during Zappos Holiday Helper season, Fun and A Little Weirdness are always just a phone call away!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-importance-of-staying-connected-to-your-customers How Having a Higher Purpose Can Strengthen Your Company http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-having-a-higher-purpose-can-strengthen-your-company <p class="date"> 11/20/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While it can be tempting for a company to focus solely on profits, research suggests that companies can achieve more than just increasing their bottom line when they also focus on a higher purpose.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh observes that &ldquo;great companies actually have a vision that has a higher purpose beyond just money or profits . . . as it turns out, the research has shown it&#39;s actually a good long-term business strategy.&quot;Companies that embrace such a strategy can create stronger connections with their employees, their customers, and their surrounding community.</p> <p> In his book <em>Good to Great</em>, author Jim Collins notes, &ldquo;Enduring great companies don&rsquo;t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed, in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very <em>point</em> of life.&rdquo; So what&rsquo;s the formula for lasting endurance of an organization? Collins continues: &ldquo;To make the shift from a company with sustained great results to an enduring great company of iconic stature . . . discover your core values and purpose beyond just making money (core ideology) and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core/stimulate progress.&rdquo;</p> <p> Companies that strive for this combination can see results in several key areas:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Plaza-scaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h2> <strong>Employee engagement</strong></h2> <p> How employees feel about the company they work for is a factor that is often undervalued. Yet there is a distinct difference between those that are just working for a paycheck and those that feel emotionally connected to the company they work for, and studies show a correlation between more engaged employees and higher profits for that organization. When Zappos HQ relocated to Downtown Las Vegas in October 2013, it provided new opportunities for employees to connect with the surrounding community through partnerships with local charities. &ldquo;The ability to do greater good was there when we moved downtown because we were in the heart of the greatest need,&rdquo; says Steven Bautista, Zappos Karma Kommando. Rather than just cutting a check, Zappos focuses on encouraging employees to give their time. &ldquo;It helps people change the community that they&rsquo;re in,&rdquo; Bautista adds. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s why people are going more local because they can get engaged and be more involved.&rdquo; Employees that can participate in a company&rsquo;s higher purpose feel a sense of pride for where they work - a priceless commodity.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Connecting with the community</strong></h2> <p> While partnering with good causes is always worthwhile, the opportunity for companies to get involved in local charities provides a chance to really feel part of their surrounding community. One example of an event Zappos hosts is Turkey Town. In 2013, Zappos held the 1<sup>st</sup> annual Turkey Town event in the Zappos HQ plaza area. This event provides full Thanksgiving meals to local Las Vegas families in need. Bautista says, &ldquo;When we do community events, we want it to be an experience with a takeaway with it.&rdquo; This year&rsquo;s Turkey Town was held November 19<sup>th</sup> where 632 local families each received all the fixings for an epic holiday spread including six canned foods, bread, stuffing, a 15lb turkey, and a pumpkin pie for dessert. There were also games and fun activities that families could enjoy together. Events like this help employees and companies see firsthand the impact they can have and the difference they can make. &ldquo;Creating connections that last beyond the company itself,&rdquo; notes Bautista, &ldquo;helps employees engage with their community as well as feel a connection to the higher purpose of the company.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Customer awareness</strong></h2> <p> It&rsquo;s a growing trend that customers not only want to feel emotionally connected to the companies they do business with, but they also want to see how those companies are giving back. Companies also have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to worthwhile causes that may not get that spotlight otherwise. &ldquo;We try to connect our customers to our higher purpose,&rdquo; says Bautista. Zappos is currently partnering with Feeding America&reg; to donate up to 5,000,000 meals. Check out this link to learn more: <a href="http://www.zappos.com/give-back" target="_self">http://www.zappos.com/give-back</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For companies that want to get more involved, Bautista suggests: &ldquo;Find out what it is your employees want to do and empower them to create ways to engage with the charities. If it doesn&#39;t come from the employees themselves, it tends to not have as much longevity.&rdquo; As far as the effects of such efforts, he adds, &ldquo;&#39;I think it does make employees happier and better connects them to who the company is and gives them a sense of pride for the company they work for.&rdquo; Now what company doesn&rsquo;t want that?</p> <p> For more information on Zappos&rsquo; higher purpose, click here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose" target="_self">http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 11/20/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While it can be tempting for a company to focus solely on profits, research suggests that companies can achieve more than just increasing their bottom line when they also focus on a higher purpose.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh observes that &ldquo;great companies actually have a vision that has a higher purpose beyond just money or profits . . . as it turns out, the research has shown it&#39;s actually a good long-term business strategy.&quot;Companies that embrace such a strategy can create stronger connections with their employees, their customers, and their surrounding community.</p> <p> In his book <em>Good to Great</em>, author Jim Collins notes, &ldquo;Enduring great companies don&rsquo;t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed, in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very <em>point</em> of life.&rdquo; So what&rsquo;s the formula for lasting endurance of an organization? Collins continues: &ldquo;To make the shift from a company with sustained great results to an enduring great company of iconic stature . . . discover your core values and purpose beyond just making money (core ideology) and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core/stimulate progress.&rdquo;</p> <p> Companies that strive for this combination can see results in several key areas:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Plaza-scaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h2> <strong>Employee engagement</strong></h2> <p> How employees feel about the company they work for is a factor that is often undervalued. Yet there is a distinct difference between those that are just working for a paycheck and those that feel emotionally connected to the company they work for, and studies show a correlation between more engaged employees and higher profits for that organization. When Zappos HQ relocated to Downtown Las Vegas in October 2013, it provided new opportunities for employees to connect with the surrounding community through partnerships with local charities. &ldquo;The ability to do greater good was there when we moved downtown because we were in the heart of the greatest need,&rdquo; says Steven Bautista, Zappos Karma Kommando. Rather than just cutting a check, Zappos focuses on encouraging employees to give their time. &ldquo;It helps people change the community that they&rsquo;re in,&rdquo; Bautista adds. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s why people are going more local because they can get engaged and be more involved.&rdquo; Employees that can participate in a company&rsquo;s higher purpose feel a sense of pride for where they work - a priceless commodity.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Connecting with the community</strong></h2> <p> While partnering with good causes is always worthwhile, the opportunity for companies to get involved in local charities provides a chance to really feel part of their surrounding community. One example of an event Zappos hosts is Turkey Town. In 2013, Zappos held the 1<sup>st</sup> annual Turkey Town event in the Zappos HQ plaza area. This event provides full Thanksgiving meals to local Las Vegas families in need. Bautista says, &ldquo;When we do community events, we want it to be an experience with a takeaway with it.&rdquo; This year&rsquo;s Turkey Town was held November 19<sup>th</sup> where 632 local families each received all the fixings for an epic holiday spread including six canned foods, bread, stuffing, a 15lb turkey, and a pumpkin pie for dessert. There were also games and fun activities that families could enjoy together. Events like this help employees and companies see firsthand the impact they can have and the difference they can make. &ldquo;Creating connections that last beyond the company itself,&rdquo; notes Bautista, &ldquo;helps employees engage with their community as well as feel a connection to the higher purpose of the company.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Customer awareness</strong></h2> <p> It&rsquo;s a growing trend that customers not only want to feel emotionally connected to the companies they do business with, but they also want to see how those companies are giving back. Companies also have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to worthwhile causes that may not get that spotlight otherwise. &ldquo;We try to connect our customers to our higher purpose,&rdquo; says Bautista. Zappos is currently partnering with Feeding America&reg; to donate up to 5,000,000 meals. Check out this link to learn more: <a href="http://www.zappos.com/give-back" target="_self">http://www.zappos.com/give-back</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For companies that want to get more involved, Bautista suggests: &ldquo;Find out what it is your employees want to do and empower them to create ways to engage with the charities. If it doesn&#39;t come from the employees themselves, it tends to not have as much longevity.&rdquo; As far as the effects of such efforts, he adds, &ldquo;&#39;I think it does make employees happier and better connects them to who the company is and gives them a sense of pride for the company they work for.&rdquo; Now what company doesn&rsquo;t want that?</p> <p> For more information on Zappos&rsquo; higher purpose, click here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose" target="_self">http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:28:32 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-having-a-higher-purpose-can-strengthen-your-company 5 Benefits of Getting to Know Your Team http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-benefits-of-getting-to-know-your-team <p class="date"> 11/05/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> With only so many hours in a day, the concept of a manager spending 20% of their time with team members may seem counterproductive. But investing that small amount of time to build relationships has several benefits that pay off in the long run.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team-scaled.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 340px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" /></p> <p> An expectation that&rsquo;s passed on organically through their own mentoring relationships, Zappos managers and mentors are encouraged to spend time simply getting to know their team members. With days and weeks crammed with scheduled meetings, impromptu meetings, and a never-ending inbox, it can be tempting to spend that time some other way. But as the <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business">80/20 rule</a> suggests, that small effort can have a huge ripple effect for the manager, the employee, and the team as a whole.</p> <p> <strong>You start to see an opportunity in every encounter. </strong>With time as precious as it is, looking for opportunities in a hectic schedule helps add a new perspective. It can be really easy for all of us to get into the zone and miss what&rsquo;s going on with each other, so grabbing coffee and connecting with another human being instead of our computer screen can be a welcome break from the daily grind.</p> <p> <strong>The work becomes more efficient. </strong>A manager may already know an employee&rsquo;s strengths, but learning what their passions are can add new meaning and drive. &ldquo;When strengths and passions collide, that&rsquo;s real purpose,&rdquo; says Kelly Wolske, Zappos Insights Trainer.</p> <p> <strong>There&rsquo;s a new level of awareness. </strong>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;ve spent that time together, there&rsquo;s more mindfulness in what we say to one another,&rdquo; notes Wolske. When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone&rsquo;s triggers as well as their strengths can also improve communication. Listening skills will increase as well as picking up on even subtle cues. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s going on outside of work is always going to have an impact inside of work, so it gives you a better understanding,&rdquo; adds Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>You become a more effective coach. </strong>&ldquo;When you get to know your employees, you learn best how your employees receive feedback, which makes you a more effective coach because feedback is all about the receipt,&rdquo; says Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>It dismantles the &lsquo;boss&rsquo; wall. </strong>Breaching that natural division of the manager/employee relationship helps build trust between you and your team member. When your employees can get to know the real you, they&rsquo;ll feel more comfortable with you. By being yourself, you set the tone and encourage others to do the same. When people can be themselves, the energy they&rsquo;d spend maintaining that work version of themselves can be spent doing their job and feeling more relaxed.</p> <p> Finding ways to connect with employees can be as simple as grabbing lunch with them or taking a 15-minute walk together. Ping pong challenges are pretty popular around Zappos HQ! Wolske suggests at least a change in venue away from your desks, even if it can&rsquo;t be offsite. Doing so removes some of that &lsquo;boss wall&rsquo; and deference that can come with it.</p> <p> &lsquo;But what if I don&rsquo;t have exactly 20% of every day/week to do this?&rsquo; you may be asking yourself. Hollie Delaney, Lead Link of People Ops at Zappos, offers the following suggestions. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s less literal and more of a guiding principle. It&rsquo;s the encouragement to get to know your employees in not only how they work but who they are as people, and strengthening the emotional connections within those groups.&rdquo; On the benefits she&rsquo;s personally seen from the practice, Delaney says, &ldquo;it helps me know how to communicate with employees and understand employees. It creates a different level of the relationship; it&rsquo;s supporting each other to move something forward, not doing the work because I said so.&rdquo; When people feel like they&rsquo;re working with friends, they feel more accountable to each other and that there&rsquo;s a team effort working towards a common goal, and that&rsquo;s something any organization can benefit from.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 11/05/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> With only so many hours in a day, the concept of a manager spending 20% of their time with team members may seem counterproductive. But investing that small amount of time to build relationships has several benefits that pay off in the long run.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team-scaled.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 340px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" /></p> <p> An expectation that&rsquo;s passed on organically through their own mentoring relationships, Zappos managers and mentors are encouraged to spend time simply getting to know their team members. With days and weeks crammed with scheduled meetings, impromptu meetings, and a never-ending inbox, it can be tempting to spend that time some other way. But as the <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business">80/20 rule</a> suggests, that small effort can have a huge ripple effect for the manager, the employee, and the team as a whole.</p> <p> <strong>You start to see an opportunity in every encounter. </strong>With time as precious as it is, looking for opportunities in a hectic schedule helps add a new perspective. It can be really easy for all of us to get into the zone and miss what&rsquo;s going on with each other, so grabbing coffee and connecting with another human being instead of our computer screen can be a welcome break from the daily grind.</p> <p> <strong>The work becomes more efficient. </strong>A manager may already know an employee&rsquo;s strengths, but learning what their passions are can add new meaning and drive. &ldquo;When strengths and passions collide, that&rsquo;s real purpose,&rdquo; says Kelly Wolske, Zappos Insights Trainer.</p> <p> <strong>There&rsquo;s a new level of awareness. </strong>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;ve spent that time together, there&rsquo;s more mindfulness in what we say to one another,&rdquo; notes Wolske. When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone&rsquo;s triggers as well as their strengths can also improve communication. Listening skills will increase as well as picking up on even subtle cues. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s going on outside of work is always going to have an impact inside of work, so it gives you a better understanding,&rdquo; adds Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>You become a more effective coach. </strong>&ldquo;When you get to know your employees, you learn best how your employees receive feedback, which makes you a more effective coach because feedback is all about the receipt,&rdquo; says Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>It dismantles the &lsquo;boss&rsquo; wall. </strong>Breaching that natural division of the manager/employee relationship helps build trust between you and your team member. When your employees can get to know the real you, they&rsquo;ll feel more comfortable with you. By being yourself, you set the tone and encourage others to do the same. When people can be themselves, the energy they&rsquo;d spend maintaining that work version of themselves can be spent doing their job and feeling more relaxed.</p> <p> Finding ways to connect with employees can be as simple as grabbing lunch with them or taking a 15-minute walk together. Ping pong challenges are pretty popular around Zappos HQ! Wolske suggests at least a change in venue away from your desks, even if it can&rsquo;t be offsite. Doing so removes some of that &lsquo;boss wall&rsquo; and deference that can come with it.</p> <p> &lsquo;But what if I don&rsquo;t have exactly 20% of every day/week to do this?&rsquo; you may be asking yourself. Hollie Delaney, Lead Link of People Ops at Zappos, offers the following suggestions. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s less literal and more of a guiding principle. It&rsquo;s the encouragement to get to know your employees in not only how they work but who they are as people, and strengthening the emotional connections within those groups.&rdquo; On the benefits she&rsquo;s personally seen from the practice, Delaney says, &ldquo;it helps me know how to communicate with employees and understand employees. It creates a different level of the relationship; it&rsquo;s supporting each other to move something forward, not doing the work because I said so.&rdquo; When people feel like they&rsquo;re working with friends, they feel more accountable to each other and that there&rsquo;s a team effort working towards a common goal, and that&rsquo;s something any organization can benefit from.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:16:27 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-benefits-of-getting-to-know-your-team How Does Zappos Encourage Employee Development? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-does-zappos-encourage-employee-development <p class="date"> 10/23/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While recruiting top talent is always front of mind for most companies, focusing on employee development can often fall to the wayside. Offering training resources for employees to grow and hone their skills can be an invaluable asset to any organization. Zappos Core Value #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, encourages Zappos employees to always be growing, both personally and professionally. One way that Zappos helps them do this is through a department created specifically for employee development, ZapposU.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> In 2008, the concept of ZapposU started with the launch of two classes, Project Culture and Communication. The goal was to offer classes that focused on helping employees develop soft skills and characteristics that a strong leader would embody. Soon classes like Finance and Public Speaking followed. Before long, departments were requesting training tools and department-specific classes. &ldquo;It really evolved organically,&rdquo; says Diana Guido, ZapposU Trainer. Department-specific classes are taught by department experts on those topics and often supplement certain progression paths.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail " src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/pursuegrowth.jpeg" style="width: 350px; height: 467px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />A sampling of classes offered today includes The Art of Storytelling, Excel, Pimp My PowerPoint, and The Science of Happiness. Employees can also get a glimpse of other departments with classes like Intro to Merchandising or Intro to Social Media. ZapposU classes aren&rsquo;t limited to certain departments, either. &ldquo;Our classes are taken by employees from all different departments so it facilitates an interdepartmental conversation,&rdquo; says Beverly St. John, ZapposU Trainer. &ldquo;Our classes are different in that they are discussion-based rather than a lecture model,&rdquo; adds Guido.</p> <p> One unique resource that ZapposU also offers to all Zappos employees is ZapposU For Hire. Departments and teams can request custom-built training that can focus on more than just work-related skills. For example, say two teams are merged into one. They can request a team-building activity centered around getting to know new team members. ZapposU For Hire can also facilitate activities that help teams build upon their strengths.</p> <p> Rather than use external trainers and training materials, ZapposU consists of in-house trainers and content developers that all share a unique glimpse and offer particular insight into Zappos departments and the company as a whole. Any course content that is created must align with the Zappos culture in order for it to be implemented.</p> <p> One of the biggest challenges ZapposU faces is class participation from employees that have been at Zappos longer than 2-3 years. While there is an uptick when new classes are launched or new system trainings are offered, St. John observes that overall &ldquo;we&rsquo;ve noticed percentages go down, and whether people don&rsquo;t take as many because they have more on their plate, people still need to realize there&rsquo;s more to learn.&rdquo; Finding more hours in the day is a challenge all employees can relate with. ZapposU sees a lot of success with teams taking classes together, especially when a team suggests it over a manager forcing it. Voluntary participation always works better than mandatory. Company leaders and seasoned employees are encouraged to be role models by pursuing growth and learning through available classes. ZapposU also hosts frequent open houses explaining all the different offerings and answering questions employees may have.</p> <p> Not only does ZapposU serve as a source of learning, they also act as a hub for mandatory training such as security awareness, payroll, or specific department progression paths. Outside of those courses, ZapposU classes are voluntary. The team has found that delivery of the message is also important. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about the mentality and how it&rsquo;s presented. We want employees to approach it with an open mind,&rdquo; says St. John. Rather than seeing it as a checklist to run through, employees are encouraged to see the classes as a continuous source of learning. To further empower employees to take initiative in their own professional development, ZapposU offers a sign-up portal for classes called ULearn. Employees can access it anytime to sign up on their own, see current offerings, and access online content and training aids. ZapposU classes are offered on-site during the work day and Zappos employees must be on the clock while attending a class. Getting paid to learn? Score!</p> <p> What began as a suggestion from Zappos&rsquo; first employee, Fred Mossler, has grown into a valuable resource from which all Zappos employees can benefit. Employee development doesn&rsquo;t just help employees. Organizations that invest in their employees&rsquo; learning can see an uptick in both productivity and employee retention. Excellent dividends, indeed. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 10/23/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While recruiting top talent is always front of mind for most companies, focusing on employee development can often fall to the wayside. Offering training resources for employees to grow and hone their skills can be an invaluable asset to any organization. Zappos Core Value #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, encourages Zappos employees to always be growing, both personally and professionally. One way that Zappos helps them do this is through a department created specifically for employee development, ZapposU.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> In 2008, the concept of ZapposU started with the launch of two classes, Project Culture and Communication. The goal was to offer classes that focused on helping employees develop soft skills and characteristics that a strong leader would embody. Soon classes like Finance and Public Speaking followed. Before long, departments were requesting training tools and department-specific classes. &ldquo;It really evolved organically,&rdquo; says Diana Guido, ZapposU Trainer. Department-specific classes are taught by department experts on those topics and often supplement certain progression paths.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail " src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/pursuegrowth.jpeg" style="width: 350px; height: 467px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />A sampling of classes offered today includes The Art of Storytelling, Excel, Pimp My PowerPoint, and The Science of Happiness. Employees can also get a glimpse of other departments with classes like Intro to Merchandising or Intro to Social Media. ZapposU classes aren&rsquo;t limited to certain departments, either. &ldquo;Our classes are taken by employees from all different departments so it facilitates an interdepartmental conversation,&rdquo; says Beverly St. John, ZapposU Trainer. &ldquo;Our classes are different in that they are discussion-based rather than a lecture model,&rdquo; adds Guido.</p> <p> One unique resource that ZapposU also offers to all Zappos employees is ZapposU For Hire. Departments and teams can request custom-built training that can focus on more than just work-related skills. For example, say two teams are merged into one. They can request a team-building activity centered around getting to know new team members. ZapposU For Hire can also facilitate activities that help teams build upon their strengths.</p> <p> Rather than use external trainers and training materials, ZapposU consists of in-house trainers and content developers that all share a unique glimpse and offer particular insight into Zappos departments and the company as a whole. Any course content that is created must align with the Zappos culture in order for it to be implemented.</p> <p> One of the biggest challenges ZapposU faces is class participation from employees that have been at Zappos longer than 2-3 years. While there is an uptick when new classes are launched or new system trainings are offered, St. John observes that overall &ldquo;we&rsquo;ve noticed percentages go down, and whether people don&rsquo;t take as many because they have more on their plate, people still need to realize there&rsquo;s more to learn.&rdquo; Finding more hours in the day is a challenge all employees can relate with. ZapposU sees a lot of success with teams taking classes together, especially when a team suggests it over a manager forcing it. Voluntary participation always works better than mandatory. Company leaders and seasoned employees are encouraged to be role models by pursuing growth and learning through available classes. ZapposU also hosts frequent open houses explaining all the different offerings and answering questions employees may have.</p> <p> Not only does ZapposU serve as a source of learning, they also act as a hub for mandatory training such as security awareness, payroll, or specific department progression paths. Outside of those courses, ZapposU classes are voluntary. The team has found that delivery of the message is also important. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about the mentality and how it&rsquo;s presented. We want employees to approach it with an open mind,&rdquo; says St. John. Rather than seeing it as a checklist to run through, employees are encouraged to see the classes as a continuous source of learning. To further empower employees to take initiative in their own professional development, ZapposU offers a sign-up portal for classes called ULearn. Employees can access it anytime to sign up on their own, see current offerings, and access online content and training aids. ZapposU classes are offered on-site during the work day and Zappos employees must be on the clock while attending a class. Getting paid to learn? Score!</p> <p> What began as a suggestion from Zappos&rsquo; first employee, Fred Mossler, has grown into a valuable resource from which all Zappos employees can benefit. Employee development doesn&rsquo;t just help employees. Organizations that invest in their employees&rsquo; learning can see an uptick in both productivity and employee retention. Excellent dividends, indeed. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-does-zappos-encourage-employee-development What Does Leadership in Self-Organization Look Like? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-leadership-in-selforganization-look-like <p class="date"> 10/08/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Leadership within a traditional hierarchical structure is the one with which most organizations are familiar: a top-down format within a triangle where managers are the main decision makers. So what happens when that structure becomes a hierarchy of work rather than a hierarchy of people? How is leadership in self-organization different?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <h2> <strong>Distribution of Authority</strong></h2> <p> Holacracy, one of the most well-known systems of self-organization, is often referred to as a flat structure rather than a hierarchy, which is misleading. It is a hierarchy, but one of size. Think of Russian nesting dolls as an analogy: each doll taking a piece that aligns with the company purpose and rolls up into the higher purpose of the organization. Circles are created to house the different areas of work a business has, with each circle still fitting into the main goals of the company.</p> <p> Unlike a traditional management system, Holacracy distributes authority as well as accountability. &ldquo;What is unique about Holacracy is that the power that managers had is now distributed to every single employee,&rdquo; says Alexis Gonzales-Black, Lead Link of Holacracy Implementation at Zappos. &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s now responsible for taking their experiences in their job to drive the company forward.&rdquo; So what does that look like?</p> <h2> <strong>Freeing up the Pipeline</strong></h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/serendipidous.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Finding and developing good managers is a universal struggle for most organizations. The list of responsibilities that falls under the title of manager are vast, and at times may seem endless. From performance reviews to resource allocation, prioritization to mentorship, the hats a manager wears can add up. But within Holacracy, Zappos is exploring ways of freeing up that pipeline. One possibility is splitting out the accountabilities of a traditional manager into 3 separate roles, the work becomes more focused and more efficient. A Lead Link focuses mainly on the resource allocation and prioritization of the work within their team, or circle. A #Mentor&rsquo;s main strengths live within the world of mentorship and role of advisor. A Contribution Appraiser has the responsibility of performance reviews and assessing job titles. So what once fell on the shoulders of one person is now distributed throughout several channels, alleviating the pressures and pitfalls that can stem from such an all-inclusive role as manager.</p> <h2> <strong>Everyone Is a Sensor</strong></h2> <p> Just as the traditional sense of manager gets turned on its head, so too does that of the employee. Self-organization allows each person to adopt a start-up view of their work. &nbsp;Gonzales-Black&nbsp;offers, &ldquo;The filter I try to run through is, &lsquo;If it was my company, what would I do?&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s important for people to embody that.&rdquo; Holacracy&rsquo;s structure allows the freedom and puts the responsibility on each employee to create solutions when faced with obstacles. Instead of mounting frustrations and dead ends, employees are able to find and connect with the right people and circles to move an idea forward or surface a tension they&rsquo;re sensing. It&rsquo;s no longer about giving those concerns to someone else; it&rsquo;s now about owning those concerns and finding solutions.</p> <h2> <strong>Transparency</strong></h2> <p> One of the other benefits of self-organization is that of transparency. While Zappos always aims for transparency, this new structure offers even more access and understanding now. Upon returning to Zappos after several months, Arun Rajan, Lead Link of Flywheel Strategy at Zappos made the following observation: &ldquo;I know more about the organization now than I did compared to when I left 8 months ago. The whole organization is cataloged.&rdquo; Whereas connecting with the right people on a project or staying updated on key developments can sometimes be a wild goose chase in a large company, under Holacracy, anyone can look someone up and see their accountabilities and how they contribute, or identify the right circle where a particular project lives.</p> <p> Like any huge mindshift, Holacracy is not without its challenges. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s training managers to step back and people to step forward that&rsquo;s really difficult,&rdquo; says Gonzales-Black.&nbsp;Fortune favors the bold, the saying goes. The same can be said of self-organization. It encourages every employee to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that not only senses tensions, but that takes the initiative and seeks solutions, as well.</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 10/08/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Leadership within a traditional hierarchical structure is the one with which most organizations are familiar: a top-down format within a triangle where managers are the main decision makers. So what happens when that structure becomes a hierarchy of work rather than a hierarchy of people? How is leadership in self-organization different?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <h2> <strong>Distribution of Authority</strong></h2> <p> Holacracy, one of the most well-known systems of self-organization, is often referred to as a flat structure rather than a hierarchy, which is misleading. It is a hierarchy, but one of size. Think of Russian nesting dolls as an analogy: each doll taking a piece that aligns with the company purpose and rolls up into the higher purpose of the organization. Circles are created to house the different areas of work a business has, with each circle still fitting into the main goals of the company.</p> <p> Unlike a traditional management system, Holacracy distributes authority as well as accountability. &ldquo;What is unique about Holacracy is that the power that managers had is now distributed to every single employee,&rdquo; says Alexis Gonzales-Black, Lead Link of Holacracy Implementation at Zappos. &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s now responsible for taking their experiences in their job to drive the company forward.&rdquo; So what does that look like?</p> <h2> <strong>Freeing up the Pipeline</strong></h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/serendipidous.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Finding and developing good managers is a universal struggle for most organizations. The list of responsibilities that falls under the title of manager are vast, and at times may seem endless. From performance reviews to resource allocation, prioritization to mentorship, the hats a manager wears can add up. But within Holacracy, Zappos is exploring ways of freeing up that pipeline. One possibility is splitting out the accountabilities of a traditional manager into 3 separate roles, the work becomes more focused and more efficient. A Lead Link focuses mainly on the resource allocation and prioritization of the work within their team, or circle. A #Mentor&rsquo;s main strengths live within the world of mentorship and role of advisor. A Contribution Appraiser has the responsibility of performance reviews and assessing job titles. So what once fell on the shoulders of one person is now distributed throughout several channels, alleviating the pressures and pitfalls that can stem from such an all-inclusive role as manager.</p> <h2> <strong>Everyone Is a Sensor</strong></h2> <p> Just as the traditional sense of manager gets turned on its head, so too does that of the employee. Self-organization allows each person to adopt a start-up view of their work. &nbsp;Gonzales-Black&nbsp;offers, &ldquo;The filter I try to run through is, &lsquo;If it was my company, what would I do?&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s important for people to embody that.&rdquo; Holacracy&rsquo;s structure allows the freedom and puts the responsibility on each employee to create solutions when faced with obstacles. Instead of mounting frustrations and dead ends, employees are able to find and connect with the right people and circles to move an idea forward or surface a tension they&rsquo;re sensing. It&rsquo;s no longer about giving those concerns to someone else; it&rsquo;s now about owning those concerns and finding solutions.</p> <h2> <strong>Transparency</strong></h2> <p> One of the other benefits of self-organization is that of transparency. While Zappos always aims for transparency, this new structure offers even more access and understanding now. Upon returning to Zappos after several months, Arun Rajan, Lead Link of Flywheel Strategy at Zappos made the following observation: &ldquo;I know more about the organization now than I did compared to when I left 8 months ago. The whole organization is cataloged.&rdquo; Whereas connecting with the right people on a project or staying updated on key developments can sometimes be a wild goose chase in a large company, under Holacracy, anyone can look someone up and see their accountabilities and how they contribute, or identify the right circle where a particular project lives.</p> <p> Like any huge mindshift, Holacracy is not without its challenges. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s training managers to step back and people to step forward that&rsquo;s really difficult,&rdquo; says Gonzales-Black.&nbsp;Fortune favors the bold, the saying goes. The same can be said of self-organization. It encourages every employee to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that not only senses tensions, but that takes the initiative and seeks solutions, as well.</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 23:33:13 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-leadership-in-selforganization-look-like Can You Quantify Company Culture? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/can-you-quantify-company-culture <p class="date"> 09/24/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> E.M. Forster wrote, &ldquo;Only connect.&rdquo; One trait of a strong company culture is how connected its employees are to each other. Some even say a company is only as strong as its culture, but can you use metrics to define connectedness? How does a company quantify culture?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In his book <em>The Tipping Point</em>, Malcolm Gladwell discusses Dunbar&rsquo;s Number which suggests that the larger a company becomes, the less accountability coworkers feel toward each other. If in a company of 100 people, John asks you to finish a task, you are more likely to complete it because you know John. But replace the same situation with a company of 1,000 people, and John with someone you&rsquo;ve never met in person, and watch the sense of urgency go <em>wayyy</em> down. It&rsquo;s the interconnectedness within a company and the strength of its relationships that help drive its culture, and one of the most common challenges companies face as they grow is how to scale culture. Over the years, Zappos continues to explore new ways to measure the seemingly immeasurable.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> The Face Game</h2> <p> Naturally, as Zappos grew, more unfamiliar faces began to appear around the office. The Face Game was created as a fun way to mitigate that challenge. Every time you logged into the internal system, you would see a face of a coworker and guess their name and select from a drop down of options on how well you did or didn&rsquo;t know them. The Face Game would then tell you their name as well as a short description so you could learn something about them. Simple yet effective, the Face Game is one way that Zappos keeps the topic of connectedness top of mind.</p> <h2> &nbsp;</h2> <h2> FaceMail</h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Connected.png" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />While helpful, the Face Game&rsquo;s results only covered one data point. FaceMail was created to measure not only if employees know each other, but how well. Similar to the Face Game, FaceMail added five questions to look at different dimensions of connectivity, trust, and frequency of connections. Sent as an email, an employee is shown the picture of another employee and asked:</p> <p> How much do they like them?</p> <p> How well do they know them?</p> <p> How much do they trust them?</p> <p> How many different ways do they know them?</p> <p> How often do they interact with this person?</p> <p> Each question has a series of answers to choose from, and any employee can also send out their own FaceMail to anyone they choose for evaluation. The answers are anonymous and employees can then check their own profile as a gauge on each topic and compare it to the Zappos average. FaceMail is an easy way for each employee to check their pulse anytime they want.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Core Value Assessments</strong></h2> <p> In 2013, Zappos launched a new way to measure culture: the z60 review. The z60 shows how Zappos as a whole is living its core values. Derived from &lsquo;360&rsquo;, or a full perspective, the z60 review is the only company-wide core value assessment at Zappos. Crafted using questions that vet a certain set of behaviors, the results can be broken out by core value and give a measurement/percentage of how an employee is energizing each core value. This not only helps employees know their strengths, but also helps identify core values they can improve upon. Each z60 review ends with a meeting with one&rsquo;s mentor and an employee picking one core value to work on. They get to pick whatever they want, and then pick one person in the company they feel they can learn from or emulate.</p> <p> The z60 was derived from a core values workshop created at Zappos in 2010. The core values workshop was developed as a way to bring the Zappos core values to life and ensure that they were never just buzzwords. Brainstorming sessions were held to identify what kind of behaviors were associated with each core value so that employees could put an action to the value.</p> <p> Some other key things to note about the z60 are:</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition to their direct team, employees also choose who they want to fill it out. It is suggested to be sent to at least five coworkers, and the average amount sent out in 2013 was ten.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is peer driven vs. manager/employee only.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The entire company&rsquo;s results can be compiled to figure out the company&rsquo;s identity as a whole.</p> <p> The key parameter that the z60 hinges on is that of relationships. Employees are encouraged to send it to coworkers that they feel they have a good working relationship with who can give them a fair assessment.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Meet Krunky</strong></h2> <p> One day, a cute blue smiley face appeared on the screen every time you finished playing the Zappos Face Game. His name was Krunky. Today, that friendly little avatar is now depicted through ten different characters that each epitomize a Zappos core value. For example, the first one is WOWzer, who corresponds with Core Value #1, Deliver WOW Through Service.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/krunky.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 313px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Each employee, team, and even the company has its own character based on their z60 results. Another facet is that it will show you other employees that share your &lsquo;character&rsquo;. Any employee can also see the &lsquo;characters&rsquo; of top leaders. The Krunky characters are another creative example of how to keep culture and relationships top of mind.</p> <p> A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the saying goes. Because connectedness is a key component in measuring the health of a company&rsquo;s culture, it can only be as strong as its weakest relationship. Trying to measure the strength of a company&rsquo;s culture provides fresh insights into an organization as well as reminds us that our working relationships are often the biggest untapped resource a company has.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights"><u>Facebook</u></a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights"><u>Twitter</u></a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 09/24/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> E.M. Forster wrote, &ldquo;Only connect.&rdquo; One trait of a strong company culture is how connected its employees are to each other. Some even say a company is only as strong as its culture, but can you use metrics to define connectedness? How does a company quantify culture?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In his book <em>The Tipping Point</em>, Malcolm Gladwell discusses Dunbar&rsquo;s Number which suggests that the larger a company becomes, the less accountability coworkers feel toward each other. If in a company of 100 people, John asks you to finish a task, you are more likely to complete it because you know John. But replace the same situation with a company of 1,000 people, and John with someone you&rsquo;ve never met in person, and watch the sense of urgency go <em>wayyy</em> down. It&rsquo;s the interconnectedness within a company and the strength of its relationships that help drive its culture, and one of the most common challenges companies face as they grow is how to scale culture. Over the years, Zappos continues to explore new ways to measure the seemingly immeasurable.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> The Face Game</h2> <p> Naturally, as Zappos grew, more unfamiliar faces began to appear around the office. The Face Game was created as a fun way to mitigate that challenge. Every time you logged into the internal system, you would see a face of a coworker and guess their name and select from a drop down of options on how well you did or didn&rsquo;t know them. The Face Game would then tell you their name as well as a short description so you could learn something about them. Simple yet effective, the Face Game is one way that Zappos keeps the topic of connectedness top of mind.</p> <h2> &nbsp;</h2> <h2> FaceMail</h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Connected.png" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />While helpful, the Face Game&rsquo;s results only covered one data point. FaceMail was created to measure not only if employees know each other, but how well. Similar to the Face Game, FaceMail added five questions to look at different dimensions of connectivity, trust, and frequency of connections. Sent as an email, an employee is shown the picture of another employee and asked:</p> <p> How much do they like them?</p> <p> How well do they know them?</p> <p> How much do they trust them?</p> <p> How many different ways do they know them?</p> <p> How often do they interact with this person?</p> <p> Each question has a series of answers to choose from, and any employee can also send out their own FaceMail to anyone they choose for evaluation. The answers are anonymous and employees can then check their own profile as a gauge on each topic and compare it to the Zappos average. FaceMail is an easy way for each employee to check their pulse anytime they want.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Core Value Assessments</strong></h2> <p> In 2013, Zappos launched a new way to measure culture: the z60 review. The z60 shows how Zappos as a whole is living its core values. Derived from &lsquo;360&rsquo;, or a full perspective, the z60 review is the only company-wide core value assessment at Zappos. Crafted using questions that vet a certain set of behaviors, the results can be broken out by core value and give a measurement/percentage of how an employee is energizing each core value. This not only helps employees know their strengths, but also helps identify core values they can improve upon. Each z60 review ends with a meeting with one&rsquo;s mentor and an employee picking one core value to work on. They get to pick whatever they want, and then pick one person in the company they feel they can learn from or emulate.</p> <p> The z60 was derived from a core values workshop created at Zappos in 2010. The core values workshop was developed as a way to bring the Zappos core values to life and ensure that they were never just buzzwords. Brainstorming sessions were held to identify what kind of behaviors were associated with each core value so that employees could put an action to the value.</p> <p> Some other key things to note about the z60 are:</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition to their direct team, employees also choose who they want to fill it out. It is suggested to be sent to at least five coworkers, and the average amount sent out in 2013 was ten.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is peer driven vs. manager/employee only.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The entire company&rsquo;s results can be compiled to figure out the company&rsquo;s identity as a whole.</p> <p> The key parameter that the z60 hinges on is that of relationships. Employees are encouraged to send it to coworkers that they feel they have a good working relationship with who can give them a fair assessment.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Meet Krunky</strong></h2> <p> One day, a cute blue smiley face appeared on the screen every time you finished playing the Zappos Face Game. His name was Krunky. Today, that friendly little avatar is now depicted through ten different characters that each epitomize a Zappos core value. For example, the first one is WOWzer, who corresponds with Core Value #1, Deliver WOW Through Service.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/krunky.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 313px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Each employee, team, and even the company has its own character based on their z60 results. Another facet is that it will show you other employees that share your &lsquo;character&rsquo;. Any employee can also see the &lsquo;characters&rsquo; of top leaders. The Krunky characters are another creative example of how to keep culture and relationships top of mind.</p> <p> A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the saying goes. Because connectedness is a key component in measuring the health of a company&rsquo;s culture, it can only be as strong as its weakest relationship. Trying to measure the strength of a company&rsquo;s culture provides fresh insights into an organization as well as reminds us that our working relationships are often the biggest untapped resource a company has.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights"><u>Facebook</u></a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights"><u>Twitter</u></a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:54:59 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/can-you-quantify-company-culture Loving Your Job http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/loving-your-job <p class="date"> 09/10/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> If you are just doing&nbsp;<em>what</em>&nbsp;you love, you are doing it wrong!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Okay, I apologize, that was kind of for shock value, but please let me explain it a little more by sharing my journey with you. A long time ago, I heard about the Confucius saying,&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;So I thought that if someone paid me to do what I love (programming), I would have a job I loved.&nbsp;<em>Do what you love. Simple, right? Wrong!</em></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> h3{ font-weight: 500; font-size: 2.4em !important; }</style> <h3> Just 1 of the 7</h3> <p> Wrong because I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to hate doing what you love. The first time it happened, I convinced myself it was because of the pay and the outdated technology. Surely, if I found a job with better pay and newer technologies, I would love it!</p> <p> The second time it happened, it left me frustrated and made me question whether I truly loved coding. How is it possible to hate two different jobs that paid me to do what I thought I loved? I talked to some of my friends and realized I wasn&rsquo;t alone. In fact, according to&nbsp;Gallup, &ldquo;70% of American workers are &lsquo;not engaged&rsquo; or &lsquo;actively disengaged&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>Why are 7 out of 10 Americans not engaged? More importantly, how could I be one of the other three?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/content/blog-summary/CSWPhotoBooth.jpg" style="float: right; width: 381px; height: 381px; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h3> Not Even Zappos</h3> <p> Moving on, I decided to apply for a job at Zappos because of their culture. I figured, if I didn&rsquo;t love working there, I probably didn&rsquo;t truly love software engineering. I was pretty excited to get an offer from them to work on their Enterprise Data Warehouse team. I learned quite a bit on that team and worked with some really smart people,&nbsp;<em>but still, I didn&rsquo;t&nbsp;<u>love</u>&nbsp;what I was doing. Not even at Zappos!&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Serendipity and Culture</h3> <p> I didn&rsquo;t hate working at Zappos, but I didn&rsquo;t love it either. I found that I enjoyed collaborating with fellow Zapponians and also liked the culture, but the work didn&rsquo;t speak to me. I tried many different things working on various projects, then one day it clicked. Many random events led to me focusing all my efforts to quantify &ldquo;culture&rdquo; at Zappos,&nbsp;<em>but how the heck does one measure culture?&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Relationships</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The question really piqued my interest. I started working with a small group of people who asked themselves the same question. Going into it, I had no idea how we would measure culture. Thankfully, I was working with some pretty smart people and they knew where to look first. We started by asking Zapponians &ldquo;why do you like working at Zappos?&rdquo; The overwhelming response was other Zapponians, more specifically the&nbsp;<em>relationships&nbsp;</em>that they had within Zappos. Furthermore, we dug a little deeper, did some research, and found that there are actually three types of relationships that people have at work.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with other people in your company.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with your company and its higher purpose.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with yourself and your passion.</span></li> </ol> <p> That&rsquo;s great, relationships and culture, so what?&nbsp;<em>What do relationships have to do with loving your job?</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Finding Love</h3> <p> While trying to quantify culture, I really started enjoying my job. In fact, I came to love my job. Amazingly, it wasn&rsquo;t just the coding that I enjoyed, I began to like doing things I normally dreaded. Things like reading lengthy research papers, giving presentations, sifting through spreadsheets&hellip;I loved all of it! Looking back, I realized the problem was that I spent way too much time looking for a job based on &ldquo;what&rdquo; I would be doing. When I should have been thinking about &ldquo;who&rdquo; I would be doing it with and &ldquo;why&rdquo; I would be doing it.&nbsp;<em>Uh duh, or ah ha!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> The 4 P&rsquo;s</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To summarize what I learned, I have distilled &ldquo;loving your job&rdquo; into 4 P&rsquo;s and some related questions. I would be lying if I said this is the end-all-be-all of finding a job you love, but it would have helped me get there sooner.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>People</strong>: does the company create a&nbsp;<em>trust-</em>building environment?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Purpose</strong>: what is the company&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>higher purpose</em>?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Passion</strong>: does the company&rsquo;s purpose speak to you? Or, does the company help you&nbsp;<em>understand yourself</em>&nbsp;by creating a space for you to explore and get meaningful feedback?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Power</strong>: does the company allow you to&nbsp;<em>contribute</em>&nbsp;to its higher purpose by doing what you love with people you trust?</span></li> </ol> <h3> <em>What questions do you consider during interviews?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Zappos Insider Program</h3> <p> We believe that you shouldn&rsquo;t wait to create the first two relationships (people and purpose). We believe that before you even start at Zappos, you should know the people that you will be working with and what we are all about. We also want to get to know you and see where your passions align with ours. This is why we have created the <a href="http://jobs.zappos.com" target="_blank">Zappos Insider</a> program. We want to help you answer questions like:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with like-minded people?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with people I can trust?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">What is the company&rsquo;s higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Am I passionate about the higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be able to contribute to the purpose?</span></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Still Learning</h3> <p> So does Zappos have the &ldquo;secret sauce&rdquo; all figured out? Nope. We are still experimenting and learning how to make Zappos a place people <em>love</em> to &ldquo;work&rdquo;.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Love-Your-Job">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 09/10/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> If you are just doing&nbsp;<em>what</em>&nbsp;you love, you are doing it wrong!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Okay, I apologize, that was kind of for shock value, but please let me explain it a little more by sharing my journey with you. A long time ago, I heard about the Confucius saying,&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;So I thought that if someone paid me to do what I love (programming), I would have a job I loved.&nbsp;<em>Do what you love. Simple, right? Wrong!</em></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> h3{ font-weight: 500; font-size: 2.4em !important; }</style> <h3> Just 1 of the 7</h3> <p> Wrong because I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to hate doing what you love. The first time it happened, I convinced myself it was because of the pay and the outdated technology. Surely, if I found a job with better pay and newer technologies, I would love it!</p> <p> The second time it happened, it left me frustrated and made me question whether I truly loved coding. How is it possible to hate two different jobs that paid me to do what I thought I loved? I talked to some of my friends and realized I wasn&rsquo;t alone. In fact, according to&nbsp;Gallup, &ldquo;70% of American workers are &lsquo;not engaged&rsquo; or &lsquo;actively disengaged&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>Why are 7 out of 10 Americans not engaged? More importantly, how could I be one of the other three?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/content/blog-summary/CSWPhotoBooth.jpg" style="float: right; width: 381px; height: 381px; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h3> Not Even Zappos</h3> <p> Moving on, I decided to apply for a job at Zappos because of their culture. I figured, if I didn&rsquo;t love working there, I probably didn&rsquo;t truly love software engineering. I was pretty excited to get an offer from them to work on their Enterprise Data Warehouse team. I learned quite a bit on that team and worked with some really smart people,&nbsp;<em>but still, I didn&rsquo;t&nbsp;<u>love</u>&nbsp;what I was doing. Not even at Zappos!&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Serendipity and Culture</h3> <p> I didn&rsquo;t hate working at Zappos, but I didn&rsquo;t love it either. I found that I enjoyed collaborating with fellow Zapponians and also liked the culture, but the work didn&rsquo;t speak to me. I tried many different things working on various projects, then one day it clicked. Many random events led to me focusing all my efforts to quantify &ldquo;culture&rdquo; at Zappos,&nbsp;<em>but how the heck does one measure culture?&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Relationships</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The question really piqued my interest. I started working with a small group of people who asked themselves the same question. Going into it, I had no idea how we would measure culture. Thankfully, I was working with some pretty smart people and they knew where to look first. We started by asking Zapponians &ldquo;why do you like working at Zappos?&rdquo; The overwhelming response was other Zapponians, more specifically the&nbsp;<em>relationships&nbsp;</em>that they had within Zappos. Furthermore, we dug a little deeper, did some research, and found that there are actually three types of relationships that people have at work.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with other people in your company.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with your company and its higher purpose.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with yourself and your passion.</span></li> </ol> <p> That&rsquo;s great, relationships and culture, so what?&nbsp;<em>What do relationships have to do with loving your job?</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Finding Love</h3> <p> While trying to quantify culture, I really started enjoying my job. In fact, I came to love my job. Amazingly, it wasn&rsquo;t just the coding that I enjoyed, I began to like doing things I normally dreaded. Things like reading lengthy research papers, giving presentations, sifting through spreadsheets&hellip;I loved all of it! Looking back, I realized the problem was that I spent way too much time looking for a job based on &ldquo;what&rdquo; I would be doing. When I should have been thinking about &ldquo;who&rdquo; I would be doing it with and &ldquo;why&rdquo; I would be doing it.&nbsp;<em>Uh duh, or ah ha!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> The 4 P&rsquo;s</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To summarize what I learned, I have distilled &ldquo;loving your job&rdquo; into 4 P&rsquo;s and some related questions. I would be lying if I said this is the end-all-be-all of finding a job you love, but it would have helped me get there sooner.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>People</strong>: does the company create a&nbsp;<em>trust-</em>building environment?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Purpose</strong>: what is the company&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>higher purpose</em>?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Passion</strong>: does the company&rsquo;s purpose speak to you? Or, does the company help you&nbsp;<em>understand yourself</em>&nbsp;by creating a space for you to explore and get meaningful feedback?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Power</strong>: does the company allow you to&nbsp;<em>contribute</em>&nbsp;to its higher purpose by doing what you love with people you trust?</span></li> </ol> <h3> <em>What questions do you consider during interviews?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Zappos Insider Program</h3> <p> We believe that you shouldn&rsquo;t wait to create the first two relationships (people and purpose). We believe that before you even start at Zappos, you should know the people that you will be working with and what we are all about. We also want to get to know you and see where your passions align with ours. This is why we have created the <a href="http://jobs.zappos.com" target="_blank">Zappos Insider</a> program. We want to help you answer questions like:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with like-minded people?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with people I can trust?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">What is the company&rsquo;s higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Am I passionate about the higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be able to contribute to the purpose?</span></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Still Learning</h3> <p> So does Zappos have the &ldquo;secret sauce&rdquo; all figured out? Nope. We are still experimenting and learning how to make Zappos a place people <em>love</em> to &ldquo;work&rdquo;.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Love-Your-Job">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:52:56 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/loving-your-job