Zappos Insights http://www.zapposinsights.com/ Zappos Insights Sat, 30 May 2015 10:10:44 GMT An Inside Look at the 2015 Q2 Zappos All Hands http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/an-inside-look-at-the-2015-q2-zappos-all-hands <p class="date"> 05/26/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 05/26/2015 &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> <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> <i>The All Hands meeting is a quarterly meeting where every Zappos employee gathers to get updates on things happening around the company. There is everything from informative and inspirational guest speakers to employee performances.</i></p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> <i>The All Hands meeting is a quarterly meeting where every Zappos employee gathers to get updates on things happening around the company. There is everything from informative and inspirational guest speakers to employee performances.</i></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Back to our roots - this was the overall theme of the day.</p> <p> The meeting opened with a video of Destin Sandlin from the YouTube channel &#39;Smarter Everyday&#39; talking about learning to ride a bike. &quot;It&rsquo;s like riding a bike.&rdquo; You hear that phrase often and you automatically understand its meaning. The thought being that once you learn something, it&rsquo;s almost impossible to unlearn it. In his case, this wasn&rsquo;t exactly true. Sure, he had learned to ride a bike at the age of 6. But when one of his engineers built a &ldquo;special&rdquo; bike, he quickly found out this bike wasn&rsquo;t just any bike. It was actually a backwards bike that when the handles were turned left, the bike would turn right, and vice-versa. He thought he could hop on and figure it out in a matter of minutes. In reality, he had to unlearn how to do something he was familiar with and now learn how to do it in a whole new way. Something that you might think should have been so simple took him 8 months to learn and even then, he had to really focus and put all his energy into staying on the darn bike!</p> <p> Side note, I know you are thinking right now that you could totally ride that bike&hellip; You can&rsquo;t. We&rsquo;ve been trying it all day at Zappos and no dice.</p> <p> Does this remind you of anything? Sound familiar? I thought this was both a funny and powerful message considering the current journey at Zappos of moving from a traditional organizational structure to self-organization. Read more about this change here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh" target="_blank">http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh</a></p> <p> Self-management is hard; Holacracy is hard. We&rsquo;re all used to working in a certain way. It&rsquo;s like riding a bike - years of practice and familiarity make it easy. You almost don&rsquo;t have to think about it, just ride. At the end of the video, Destin tried to go back to riding a regular bike and struggled. He was so used to the new way of riding that it was hard to revert back to old ways. But interesting to note, that while it took him 8 months to learn a new way to ride a bike, it only took 20 minutes for him to catch back on to the old way. Something to keep in mind as we seek to learn and develop a new way to do business at Zappos.</p> <p> Following the video, Tony Hsieh came on stage to speak. Typically, at an All Hands meeting Tony will give a brief introduction and say a few words about the speakers, but this time he spoke for much longer than usual. He talked about some of the struggles we&rsquo;ve had over the past 6 weeks since the pivotal email was sent. I could feel the emotion in the words he spoke. There was a video shown where employees, both those who chose to stay and those who decided to take &quot;the offer&quot;, were interviewed about their experiences. At one point, Tony talked about his own personal difficulties and admitted that one of the hardest things for him to hear was that there were some employees who wanted him to resign. Ouch. I appreciated his openness and hearing him speak really resonated with me because I could see that he truly believed in the changes we were making.</p> <p> One of our guest speakers was Ricardo Semler, who has been working in Teal organizations for 20+ years. Ricardo was not only knowledgeable, but he also had entertaining self-management anecdotes to share. At one point he stated &ldquo;The&nbsp; good news is that I have&nbsp; worked in Teal organizations for over 20 years, but the bad news is that I don&rsquo;t know what that means.&rdquo; I loved this because here is someone who many people would consider an expert in self-organization, admitting that he still doesn&rsquo;t have all of the answers.</p> <p> As he shared his experiences, what captured my attention the most was an idea of his called &ldquo;terminal days.&rdquo; Cancer runs in Ricardo&rsquo;s family and what he does is take time out of his week for a &ldquo;terminal day&rdquo; to focus on doing the things he was planning on doing when he retired. Basically, he lives his life as if he received the worst news possible from his doctor and chases his dreams.</p> <p> How many of us can say we truly do that? Most of our weekdays are busy with work, family, and so many other things that prevent us from discovering our passions. I know what I&rsquo;m passionate about at work but what if&hellip; What if I took the time during my week to try something new that had nothing to do with my job? I could rock climb, take a day trip to the beach, teach myself to crochet&hellip; The possibilities are endless. The fulfillment I got from these activities would surely spill over into my work life. I loved this concept so much that I&rsquo;m challenging myself to do this at least once a month. I&rsquo;m going to take a half day off and try a new outdoor activity that I&rsquo;ve always wanted to. If you could take a &ldquo;terminal day&rdquo;, what would you do?</p> <p> The meeting closed out with speakers from within the company. Each segment was a brief recap of various projects and events. From a circle called Women Empowered that focuses on the obstacles women in business face to highlighting a skating and brand awareness event happening in Downtown Las Vegas at the end of May, it was a nice peek into the work that&rsquo;s happening all around Zappos. .</p> <p> All in all, I felt like this was one of the best All Hands meetings I&rsquo;ve attended. I feel like we went back to remembering who we are as a company. Despite the hectic-ness and media coverage of our recent changes, I was reminded that these changes are actually bringing us all together. I like to say that we were all reading the same book, but we were just on different pages. We even announced that Zappos will be going back to its original purpose, to &ldquo;Live and Deliver WOW!&rdquo; Truly,&nbsp; going back to our roots.</p> <p> I usually leave these meetings with little nuggets of wisdom or inspiration from one of our speakers. This felt different. For the first time in a long time, I felt inspired by purpose, inspired to question the purpose in my personal life and comfort in the fact that my company rediscovered and refocused on ours. Not a bad way to spend 4 hours.</p> <p> (I know you&rsquo;re dying to see what riding a backwards bike looks like. Check out the story here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0</a>)</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Back to our roots - this was the overall theme of the day.</p> <p> The meeting opened with a video of Destin Sandlin from the YouTube channel &#39;Smarter Everyday&#39; talking about learning to ride a bike. &quot;It&rsquo;s like riding a bike.&rdquo; You hear that phrase often and you automatically understand its meaning. The thought being that once you learn something, it&rsquo;s almost impossible to unlearn it. In his case, this wasn&rsquo;t exactly true. Sure, he had learned to ride a bike at the age of 6. But when one of his engineers built a &ldquo;special&rdquo; bike, he quickly found out this bike wasn&rsquo;t just any bike. It was actually a backwards bike that when the handles were turned left, the bike would turn right, and vice-versa. He thought he could hop on and figure it out in a matter of minutes. In reality, he had to unlearn how to do something he was familiar with and now learn how to do it in a whole new way. Something that you might think should have been so simple took him 8 months to learn and even then, he had to really focus and put all his energy into staying on the darn bike!</p> <p> Side note, I know you are thinking right now that you could totally ride that bike&hellip; You can&rsquo;t. We&rsquo;ve been trying it all day at Zappos and no dice.</p> <p> Does this remind you of anything? Sound familiar? I thought this was both a funny and powerful message considering the current journey at Zappos of moving from a traditional organizational structure to self-organization. Read more about this change here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh" target="_blank">http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh</a></p> <p> Self-management is hard; Holacracy is hard. We&rsquo;re all used to working in a certain way. It&rsquo;s like riding a bike - years of practice and familiarity make it easy. You almost don&rsquo;t have to think about it, just ride. At the end of the video, Destin tried to go back to riding a regular bike and struggled. He was so used to the new way of riding that it was hard to revert back to old ways. But interesting to note, that while it took him 8 months to learn a new way to ride a bike, it only took 20 minutes for him to catch back on to the old way. Something to keep in mind as we seek to learn and develop a new way to do business at Zappos.</p> <p> Following the video, Tony Hsieh came on stage to speak. Typically, at an All Hands meeting Tony will give a brief introduction and say a few words about the speakers, but this time he spoke for much longer than usual. He talked about some of the struggles we&rsquo;ve had over the past 6 weeks since the pivotal email was sent. I could feel the emotion in the words he spoke. There was a video shown where employees, both those who chose to stay and those who decided to take &quot;the offer&quot;, were interviewed about their experiences. At one point, Tony talked about his own personal difficulties and admitted that one of the hardest things for him to hear was that there were some employees who wanted him to resign. Ouch. I appreciated his openness and hearing him speak really resonated with me because I could see that he truly believed in the changes we were making.</p> <p> One of our guest speakers was Ricardo Semler, who has been working in Teal organizations for 20+ years. Ricardo was not only knowledgeable, but he also had entertaining self-management anecdotes to share. At one point he stated &ldquo;The&nbsp; good news is that I have&nbsp; worked in Teal organizations for over 20 years, but the bad news is that I don&rsquo;t know what that means.&rdquo; I loved this because here is someone who many people would consider an expert in self-organization, admitting that he still doesn&rsquo;t have all of the answers.</p> <p> As he shared his experiences, what captured my attention the most was an idea of his called &ldquo;terminal days.&rdquo; Cancer runs in Ricardo&rsquo;s family and what he does is take time out of his week for a &ldquo;terminal day&rdquo; to focus on doing the things he was planning on doing when he retired. Basically, he lives his life as if he received the worst news possible from his doctor and chases his dreams.</p> <p> How many of us can say we truly do that? Most of our weekdays are busy with work, family, and so many other things that prevent us from discovering our passions. I know what I&rsquo;m passionate about at work but what if&hellip; What if I took the time during my week to try something new that had nothing to do with my job? I could rock climb, take a day trip to the beach, teach myself to crochet&hellip; The possibilities are endless. The fulfillment I got from these activities would surely spill over into my work life. I loved this concept so much that I&rsquo;m challenging myself to do this at least once a month. I&rsquo;m going to take a half day off and try a new outdoor activity that I&rsquo;ve always wanted to. If you could take a &ldquo;terminal day&rdquo;, what would you do?</p> <p> The meeting closed out with speakers from within the company. Each segment was a brief recap of various projects and events. From a circle called Women Empowered that focuses on the obstacles women in business face to highlighting a skating and brand awareness event happening in Downtown Las Vegas at the end of May, it was a nice peek into the work that&rsquo;s happening all around Zappos. .</p> <p> All in all, I felt like this was one of the best All Hands meetings I&rsquo;ve attended. I feel like we went back to remembering who we are as a company. Despite the hectic-ness and media coverage of our recent changes, I was reminded that these changes are actually bringing us all together. I like to say that we were all reading the same book, but we were just on different pages. We even announced that Zappos will be going back to its original purpose, to &ldquo;Live and Deliver WOW!&rdquo; Truly,&nbsp; going back to our roots.</p> <p> I usually leave these meetings with little nuggets of wisdom or inspiration from one of our speakers. This felt different. For the first time in a long time, I felt inspired by purpose, inspired to question the purpose in my personal life and comfort in the fact that my company rediscovered and refocused on ours. Not a bad way to spend 4 hours.</p> <p> (I know you&rsquo;re dying to see what riding a backwards bike looks like. Check out the story here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0</a>)</p> </div> Tue, 26 May 2015 20:05:45 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/an-inside-look-at-the-2015-q2-zappos-all-hands Toni: What Culture Means to Me http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/toni-what-culture-means-to-me <p class="date"> 05/13/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 05/13/2015 &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> <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"> &ldquo;Do you work for Zappos?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> I turned toward the voice to see a woman about my age, standing a few feet away from me.&nbsp; It was a Saturday afternoon and I was picking up a few items at my local supermarket.&nbsp; Since I was wearing my nifty Zappos track jacket, I assumed that she was addressing me.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Do you work for Zappos?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> I turned toward the voice to see a woman about my age, standing a few feet away from me.&nbsp; It was a Saturday afternoon and I was picking up a few items at my local supermarket.&nbsp; Since I was wearing my nifty Zappos track jacket, I assumed that she was addressing me.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> I smiled and replied, &ldquo;Yes, I do.&rdquo;&nbsp; I have become accustomed to curious strangers asking about the company as we do have a reputation for being a tad quirky.</p> <p class="p1"> The woman cocked her head to the side and wrinkled her brow.&nbsp; &ldquo;Are you guys really a cult?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/toni_headshot.png" style="width: 319px; height: 400px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />This is also something to which I have become accustomed.</p> <p class="p1"> A cult is defined as &ldquo;a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Culture is the &ldquo;behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Similar, right?</p> <p class="p1"> Well, not really.</p> <p class="p1"> Company culture is not supposed to be identical for everyone.&nbsp; Sure, your company may have a set of values in place by which it operates, but these values will and should be embraced and &ldquo;energized&rdquo; by employees in their own unique way.&nbsp; One of the things that I believe sets Zappos apart is that every employee is <i>encouraged</i> to be who they are.&nbsp; You&rsquo;re never expected to check your individuality or personality at the door.&nbsp; We do not want automatons who all think alike because individual perspectives actually strengthen a company.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can&rsquo;t deliver good service from unhappy employees,&rdquo; says CEO Tony Hsieh.&nbsp; It is no secret that when employees feel valued, there is a higher level of job satisfaction.&nbsp; It is said that &ldquo;s&amp;*t rolls downhill.&rdquo;&nbsp; Well, so does happiness.&nbsp; Happy employees are able to deliver a higher level of service which leads to happy customers and ultimately, happy shareholders.</p> <p class="p1"> Creating a strong company culture does not equal creating a cult. Nor does establishing a set of core values mean creating &ldquo;Stepford&rdquo; employees.&nbsp; Sure, Zapponians may have a similar devotion to service and maintaining our culture, but that may well be where our similarities end.&nbsp; And, that is not a bad thing.&nbsp; Company culture is not the same as conformity.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;I think when people say they dread going to work on Monday morning, it&rsquo;s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home.&nbsp; Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?&rdquo; &ndash; Tony Hsieh</p> <p class="p1"> Now, that&rsquo;s Kool-Aid I wouldn&rsquo;t mind drinking.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> I smiled and replied, &ldquo;Yes, I do.&rdquo;&nbsp; I have become accustomed to curious strangers asking about the company as we do have a reputation for being a tad quirky.</p> <p class="p1"> The woman cocked her head to the side and wrinkled her brow.&nbsp; &ldquo;Are you guys really a cult?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/toni_headshot.png" style="width: 319px; height: 400px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />This is also something to which I have become accustomed.</p> <p class="p1"> A cult is defined as &ldquo;a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Culture is the &ldquo;behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Similar, right?</p> <p class="p1"> Well, not really.</p> <p class="p1"> Company culture is not supposed to be identical for everyone.&nbsp; Sure, your company may have a set of values in place by which it operates, but these values will and should be embraced and &ldquo;energized&rdquo; by employees in their own unique way.&nbsp; One of the things that I believe sets Zappos apart is that every employee is <i>encouraged</i> to be who they are.&nbsp; You&rsquo;re never expected to check your individuality or personality at the door.&nbsp; We do not want automatons who all think alike because individual perspectives actually strengthen a company.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can&rsquo;t deliver good service from unhappy employees,&rdquo; says CEO Tony Hsieh.&nbsp; It is no secret that when employees feel valued, there is a higher level of job satisfaction.&nbsp; It is said that &ldquo;s&amp;*t rolls downhill.&rdquo;&nbsp; Well, so does happiness.&nbsp; Happy employees are able to deliver a higher level of service which leads to happy customers and ultimately, happy shareholders.</p> <p class="p1"> Creating a strong company culture does not equal creating a cult. Nor does establishing a set of core values mean creating &ldquo;Stepford&rdquo; employees.&nbsp; Sure, Zapponians may have a similar devotion to service and maintaining our culture, but that may well be where our similarities end.&nbsp; And, that is not a bad thing.&nbsp; Company culture is not the same as conformity.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;I think when people say they dread going to work on Monday morning, it&rsquo;s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home.&nbsp; Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?&rdquo; &ndash; Tony Hsieh</p> <p class="p1"> Now, that&rsquo;s Kool-Aid I wouldn&rsquo;t mind drinking.</p> </div> Wed, 13 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/toni-what-culture-means-to-me Leadercast 2015: The Brave Ones http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/leadercast-2015-the-brave-ones <p class="date"> 05/08/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 05/08/2015 &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> <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"> Each year Leadercast Live, facilitates one of the largest one-day leadership events in the world. Couldn&#39;t make this amazing event? No worries we&#39;ve got you covered! Come along for the ride and discover your own inner strength along the way. We&rsquo;re excited to be live blogging our takeaways for you to enjoy throughout the day.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p class="p1"> Each year Leadercast Live, facilitates one of the largest one-day leadership events in the world. Couldn&#39;t make this amazing event? No worries we&#39;ve got you covered! Come along for the ride and discover your own inner strength along the way. We&rsquo;re excited to be live blogging our takeaways for you to enjoy throughout the day.</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/braveones.png" style="width: 400px; float: right; margin: 15px; height: 534px;" />What does it mean to be brave: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. Bravery is a powerful trait that can be interpreted in many different ways. Showing courage in the face of the unknown, getting out of your comfort zone, or just standing up for what&rsquo;s right.</p> <h1> &nbsp;</h1> <div> <h1> Session 1: Brave Ones Lead with Boldness</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Complexity is killing companies&hellip;bureaucracy is killing companies&rdquo; &ndash; Bill McDermott</p> <p class="p1"> The definition of leadership has been so watered down by the corporate world. Leadership isn&rsquo;t a job title that is given to you, it&rsquo;s not striking fear into those around you and it&rsquo;s definitely not having the final say. In life, people naturally gravitate towards leaders with a cause. We want to serve a higher purpose and natural leaders help us find that purpose.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;You have the potential to exhibit bold leadership&rdquo; &ndash; Andy Stanley</p> <p class="p1"> In each of us lies the potential to exhibit bold leadership. The key components of a brave leader are clarity, focus, stubbornness, and resourcefulness. Andy Stanley likened these components to a middle school girl in pursuit of her first iPhone. She has clarity because she knows exactly what she wants, she&rsquo;s focused on this and puts everything else on hold. In her stubbornness, she won&rsquo;t stop until she gets it and she&rsquo;ll be resourceful in if mom won&rsquo;t get it, dad will. We can all exhibit this somewhere in our lives.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t have brave moments without fear&rdquo; -Rorke Denver</p> <p class="p1"> I had a moment of reflection. Does the fact that you can&rsquo;t have bravery without fear mean that the leaders we idolize and immortalize were really just experiencing fear and made a favorable choice? What would have happened if they made a different decision in that moment of fear? WOW.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 2: Brave Ones Persevere Despite Circumstances</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Who are you waiting for?&rdquo; - Malala Yousafzai</p> <p class="p1"> Where the first session set the stage for removing fear and finding your inner courage, session 2 seamlessly transitioned into encouraging taking action. Listening to Malala Yousafzai&rsquo;s story was powerful. She is a children&rsquo;s advocate for education and her story of perseverance and boldness is so overwhelming. Despite surviving tragic circumstances, she still believes, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s our duty to speak about what&rsquo;s true and what&rsquo;s right.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;I faced monumental decisions before I was ready for them&rdquo; &ndash;Peyton Manning</p> <p class="p1"> Peyton and Malala come from different backgrounds, but they both have something in common. They are both leaders, who at some point in their life, had to make a decision they weren&rsquo;t ready for. In both of their stories, they had people who supported them along their journey. Whether that be a coach, parent, or hero; they had people there to give them honest, raw advice.</p> <p class="p1"> It&rsquo;s a cycle. Who is the one person in your life that you look to for direction or advice? Maybe it&rsquo;s more than one person, maybe it&rsquo;s someone you haven&rsquo;t even met. Now think, are you that person to someone else?</p> <p class="p1"> No matter the circumstances, <strong>you have the potential to be a bold leader for someone.</strong></p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 3: Part 1: Brave Ones Create the Future</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s always too soon&rdquo; &ndash; Seth Goden</p> <p class="p1"> It&rsquo;s a little like saying, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer&hellip;who cares?! Ideas and innovations that have changed the world have always come at a time where it didn&rsquo;t make sense. Cars were built at a time where there was no such thing as roads or gas stations. Seth asked, &ldquo;What do you think the first person with a fax machine did?&rdquo; The room broke out in laughter. Think about that&hellip;a single fax machine&hellip;is useless. Greatness will be achieved when we can stop trying to be perfect and instead attempt to make art.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;New ideas are fragile and often off track&rdquo; &ndash; Ed Catmull</p> <p class="p1"> We say we should not be afraid to fail, but rather to learn from those failures. Ed points out that there are two definitions of failure. 1) Failure is a learning experience and try again. 2) The one we learn in school: the pass or fail. The 2nd type comes with the label of being dumb or lazy. Is this why failure is so scary to us as adults?</p> <p class="p1"> I know one thing is true, the brave will persevere. Be brave enough to try something new.</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 4: Brave Ones Transform Culture</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Everything changed.&rdquo; &ndash;Rudy Guillani</p> <p class="p1"> Taking us back to that fateful day on September 11th, 2001, Rudy Guiliani tells his firsthand account of being at Ground Zero on the day of the attacks. Forever burned into his brain, and every single one of ours, he tells a very detailed story about his experience that day. Are leaders born or made? He says, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re made&hellip;it&rsquo;s just a matter of bringing it out of yourself.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Until those moments, he talks about not fully understanding what it meant to be a leader but everything he learned was in preparation for this day. He shared six leadership skills, which were great universal lessons that could be applied in other aspects of life:</p> <p class="p1"> 1) Have strong beliefs&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> 2) Be an optimist</p> <p class="p1"> 3) Have courage</p> <p class="p1"> 4) Prepare relentlessly</p> <p class="p1"> 5) Teamwork</p> <p class="p1"> 6) Communicate</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Peace is a gift that most of us take for granted&rdquo; -Aja Brown&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> In her quest to leave a legacy as a woman of compassion, Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, strives to restore hope and help people stand for their communities and neighborhoods. She tells the story of acting as the catalyst for bringing people together in pursuit of another legacy: safety and peace. In the past 365 days, crime in Compton has come down 78%. &ldquo;If not me, then who?&rdquo;, she asks. &ldquo;Brave ones aren&rsquo;t super human, they just did what needed to be done.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> These are two extreme scenarios, but what are you doing to make an impact where you are? You have the choice to be brave in every decision you make no matter how small or large.</p> </div> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/braveones.png" style="width: 400px; float: right; margin: 15px; height: 534px;" />What does it mean to be brave: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. Bravery is a powerful trait that can be interpreted in many different ways. Showing courage in the face of the unknown, getting out of your comfort zone, or just standing up for what&rsquo;s right.</p> <h1> &nbsp;</h1> <div> <h1> Session 1: Brave Ones Lead with Boldness</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Complexity is killing companies&hellip;bureaucracy is killing companies&rdquo; &ndash; Bill McDermott</p> <p class="p1"> The definition of leadership has been so watered down by the corporate world. Leadership isn&rsquo;t a job title that is given to you, it&rsquo;s not striking fear into those around you and it&rsquo;s definitely not having the final say. In life, people naturally gravitate towards leaders with a cause. We want to serve a higher purpose and natural leaders help us find that purpose.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;You have the potential to exhibit bold leadership&rdquo; &ndash; Andy Stanley</p> <p class="p1"> In each of us lies the potential to exhibit bold leadership. The key components of a brave leader are clarity, focus, stubbornness, and resourcefulness. Andy Stanley likened these components to a middle school girl in pursuit of her first iPhone. She has clarity because she knows exactly what she wants, she&rsquo;s focused on this and puts everything else on hold. In her stubbornness, she won&rsquo;t stop until she gets it and she&rsquo;ll be resourceful in if mom won&rsquo;t get it, dad will. We can all exhibit this somewhere in our lives.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t have brave moments without fear&rdquo; -Rorke Denver</p> <p class="p1"> I had a moment of reflection. Does the fact that you can&rsquo;t have bravery without fear mean that the leaders we idolize and immortalize were really just experiencing fear and made a favorable choice? What would have happened if they made a different decision in that moment of fear? WOW.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 2: Brave Ones Persevere Despite Circumstances</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Who are you waiting for?&rdquo; - Malala Yousafzai</p> <p class="p1"> Where the first session set the stage for removing fear and finding your inner courage, session 2 seamlessly transitioned into encouraging taking action. Listening to Malala Yousafzai&rsquo;s story was powerful. She is a children&rsquo;s advocate for education and her story of perseverance and boldness is so overwhelming. Despite surviving tragic circumstances, she still believes, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s our duty to speak about what&rsquo;s true and what&rsquo;s right.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;I faced monumental decisions before I was ready for them&rdquo; &ndash;Peyton Manning</p> <p class="p1"> Peyton and Malala come from different backgrounds, but they both have something in common. They are both leaders, who at some point in their life, had to make a decision they weren&rsquo;t ready for. In both of their stories, they had people who supported them along their journey. Whether that be a coach, parent, or hero; they had people there to give them honest, raw advice.</p> <p class="p1"> It&rsquo;s a cycle. Who is the one person in your life that you look to for direction or advice? Maybe it&rsquo;s more than one person, maybe it&rsquo;s someone you haven&rsquo;t even met. Now think, are you that person to someone else?</p> <p class="p1"> No matter the circumstances, <strong>you have the potential to be a bold leader for someone.</strong></p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 3: Part 1: Brave Ones Create the Future</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s always too soon&rdquo; &ndash; Seth Goden</p> <p class="p1"> It&rsquo;s a little like saying, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer&hellip;who cares?! Ideas and innovations that have changed the world have always come at a time where it didn&rsquo;t make sense. Cars were built at a time where there was no such thing as roads or gas stations. Seth asked, &ldquo;What do you think the first person with a fax machine did?&rdquo; The room broke out in laughter. Think about that&hellip;a single fax machine&hellip;is useless. Greatness will be achieved when we can stop trying to be perfect and instead attempt to make art.</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;New ideas are fragile and often off track&rdquo; &ndash; Ed Catmull</p> <p class="p1"> We say we should not be afraid to fail, but rather to learn from those failures. Ed points out that there are two definitions of failure. 1) Failure is a learning experience and try again. 2) The one we learn in school: the pass or fail. The 2nd type comes with the label of being dumb or lazy. Is this why failure is so scary to us as adults?</p> <p class="p1"> I know one thing is true, the brave will persevere. Be brave enough to try something new.</p> <h1 class="p1"> Session 4: Brave Ones Transform Culture</h1> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Everything changed.&rdquo; &ndash;Rudy Guillani</p> <p class="p1"> Taking us back to that fateful day on September 11th, 2001, Rudy Guiliani tells his firsthand account of being at Ground Zero on the day of the attacks. Forever burned into his brain, and every single one of ours, he tells a very detailed story about his experience that day. Are leaders born or made? He says, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re made&hellip;it&rsquo;s just a matter of bringing it out of yourself.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> Until those moments, he talks about not fully understanding what it meant to be a leader but everything he learned was in preparation for this day. He shared six leadership skills, which were great universal lessons that could be applied in other aspects of life:</p> <p class="p1"> 1) Have strong beliefs&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> 2) Be an optimist</p> <p class="p1"> 3) Have courage</p> <p class="p1"> 4) Prepare relentlessly</p> <p class="p1"> 5) Teamwork</p> <p class="p1"> 6) Communicate</p> <p class="p1"> &ldquo;Peace is a gift that most of us take for granted&rdquo; -Aja Brown&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> In her quest to leave a legacy as a woman of compassion, Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, strives to restore hope and help people stand for their communities and neighborhoods. She tells the story of acting as the catalyst for bringing people together in pursuit of another legacy: safety and peace. In the past 365 days, crime in Compton has come down 78%. &ldquo;If not me, then who?&rdquo;, she asks. &ldquo;Brave ones aren&rsquo;t super human, they just did what needed to be done.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> These are two extreme scenarios, but what are you doing to make an impact where you are? You have the choice to be brave in every decision you make no matter how small or large.</p> </div> </div> Fri, 08 May 2015 15:19:41 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/leadercast-2015-the-brave-ones Self-Management Misconceptions http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/selfmanagement-misconceptions <p class="date"> 05/06/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 05/06/2015 &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> <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> Self-management. Check &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> Self-management is a relatively new and exciting&hellip; &nbsp;and somewhat scary concept. Is it right for your company? Though I can&rsquo;t answer that question for you, even if you decide your ultimate goal may not be to become completely self-organized and remove traditional management structures, there are some key, helpful principles of self-organization you may be able to apply in your own workplace today. Along with the most common misconceptions, I&rsquo;d like to outline some ideas to implement these concepts effectively.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Self-management. Check &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> Self-management is a relatively new and exciting&hellip; &nbsp;and somewhat scary concept. Is it right for your company? Though I can&rsquo;t answer that question for you, even if you decide your ultimate goal may not be to become completely self-organized and remove traditional management structures, there are some key, helpful principles of self-organization you may be able to apply in your own workplace today. Along with the most common misconceptions, I&rsquo;d like to outline some ideas to implement these concepts effectively.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"> <span class="s1">(For more information on self-management, check this out:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh"><span class="s2">http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh</span></a></span><span class="s3">)</span></p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> Before diving in, I want to quickly cover a phrase you may not be familiar with:&nbsp;<i>Teal organizations.&nbsp;</i>What the heck is this? &nbsp;The concept of a Teal organization has sometimes been used interchangeably with&nbsp;<i>self-management</i>, but is actually a stage of development where self-management is one of the key elements present along with wholeness and evolutionary purpose. Teal is discussed in the book,&nbsp;<span class="s4"><b>Reinventing Organizations</b></span>&nbsp;by Frederic Laloux. Laloux describes Teal organizations as having found, &quot;the key to operate effectively, even at a large scale, with a system based on peer relationships, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p4"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Four Most Common Misconceptions about Teal:</b></p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s3">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management"><span class="s5">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p4"> June 12, 2014</p> <p class="p4"> By Frederic Laloux</p> <p class="p4"> (&ldquo;Ideas to implement&quot; are my my own thoughts)</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/GrandOpening.Blog.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />1) There Is No Structure, Management, or Leadership</b></p> <p class="p1"> This is the most common misconception. Although this isn&rsquo;t true, it&rsquo;s certainly headline grabbing. If done properly, there can actually be more structure. Managerial duties are now distributed and delegated to the entire team to focus on getting work done. In Teal organizations, there are many processes in place to help employees self-manage. Sharing best practices allows people to get work done in the most efficient manner possible, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to use whatever method works best for them.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Ditch micro-management.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Trust your employees to accomplish tasks through the processes that work for them. Trial and error is a powerful way for people to find out what works best and removing the stigma of &ldquo;failure&rdquo; can be extremely beneficial. Facilitating monthly meetings where the focus is on these successes and failures can also help employees grow and share their experiences. Documenting these meetings in a shared folder or drive allows these learnings to become a valuable way for employees to learn from and discover what the company has done that works and what hasn&#39;t.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>2) Self-Management Is Here To Make Everyone Equal</b></p> <p class="p1"> Work in an organization will always have varying scopes of importance and responsibility. In a true self-managing environment, the goal is not&nbsp; to provide everyone with equal power, but instead, to create a framework that allows employees to find their own power. Successful self-management is growing everyone to the strongest and healthiest versions of themselves.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Encourage employees to follow their passions.</i></p> <p class="p1"> According to Maslow&rsquo;s Hierarchy Of Needs, self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid and represents an individual&rsquo;s need to find their higher purpose. With passion comes purpose. Think about ways to grow your team into the best versions of themselves.&nbsp;Our Customer Loyalty Team allows employees to focus on their own growth for an average base of 20% of their work week that is outside of their primary roles. By carving this time outside of their day to day work, employees are challenged to become involved in culture&nbsp;activities, personal&nbsp;development, or finding new ways to connect with customers.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>3) It&rsquo;s All About Empowerment</b></p> <p class="p1"> Many organizations claim to be empowered but that implies the manager supplies all of the power and transfers it down to others. Employees in Teal organizations are given power; they don&rsquo;t need to fight for it, they simply have it. However, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Employees must think of others and what&rsquo;s best for the team and the overall company purpose when making decisions.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Decision making doesn&rsquo;t need to come from the top down.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Every company can pinpoint a time when an idea was lost or a decision wasn&rsquo;t acted on quickly enough because of the need for management approval. In traditional organizations, there can sometimes be a bottleneck at the top of the hierarchy to make decisions. Allowing employees the ability to make bigger decisions without the need for consent from management calls for trust and a decision-making process that involves knowledgeable and relevant colleagues. In Teal organizations, employees seek the advice of those the decision affects, as well as those with subject matter expertise in the task or issue at hand. With all of the information and advice present, trust employees to make the right decisions that can push your organization forward.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>4) Its Still Experimental &nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p1"> There are many examples of companies successfully working off the principles and processes of self-management since the 1950&rsquo;s. Among them are Morningstar, Patagonia, Whole Foods, Wikipedia, Linux, and Alcoholics Anonymous.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p2"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <i>Create your own shade of Teal.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Although self-management sounds like a radically different way of working, the key themes in these principles are fostering an environment where people feel comfortable contributing and ideas are supported.&nbsp;Each organization should look to find ways to take the guiding&nbsp;principles&nbsp;and use them in a way that makes sense for the work they do.&nbsp;&nbsp;Management writer, Gary Hamel, notes that some of these key values to propel self-management forward are:</p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li1"> No one can kill a good idea</li> <li class="li1"> Everyone can pitch in</li> <li class="li1"> Anyone can lead</li> <li class="li1"> No one can dictate</li> <li class="li1"> You get to choose your own cause</li> <li class="li1"> You can easily build on top what others have done</li> <li class="li1"> You don&rsquo;t have to put up with bullies and tyrants</li> <li class="li1"> Agitators don&rsquo;t get marginalized</li> <li class="li1"> Excellence usually wins (and mediocrity doesn&rsquo;t)</li> <li class="li1"> Passion-killing policies get reversed</li> <li class="li1"> Great contributions get recognized and celebrated</li> </ul> <p class="p4"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> If this sounds like your workplace already, you are operating in the realm of self-management without even realizing it.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> If not, try the above ideas and see if there is pay-off in employee happiness and productivity.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"> <span class="s1">(For more information on self-management, check this out:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh"><span class="s2">http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/a-memo-from-tony-hsieh</span></a></span><span class="s3">)</span></p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> Before diving in, I want to quickly cover a phrase you may not be familiar with:&nbsp;<i>Teal organizations.&nbsp;</i>What the heck is this? &nbsp;The concept of a Teal organization has sometimes been used interchangeably with&nbsp;<i>self-management</i>, but is actually a stage of development where self-management is one of the key elements present along with wholeness and evolutionary purpose. Teal is discussed in the book,&nbsp;<span class="s4"><b>Reinventing Organizations</b></span>&nbsp;by Frederic Laloux. Laloux describes Teal organizations as having found, &quot;the key to operate effectively, even at a large scale, with a system based on peer relationships, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p4"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Four Most Common Misconceptions about Teal:</b></p> <p class="p5"> <span class="s3">Content is from:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management"><span class="s5">http://www.self-managementinstitute.org/misperceptions-of-self-management</span></a></span></p> <p class="p4"> June 12, 2014</p> <p class="p4"> By Frederic Laloux</p> <p class="p4"> (&ldquo;Ideas to implement&quot; are my my own thoughts)</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/GrandOpening.Blog.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />1) There Is No Structure, Management, or Leadership</b></p> <p class="p1"> This is the most common misconception. Although this isn&rsquo;t true, it&rsquo;s certainly headline grabbing. If done properly, there can actually be more structure. Managerial duties are now distributed and delegated to the entire team to focus on getting work done. In Teal organizations, there are many processes in place to help employees self-manage. Sharing best practices allows people to get work done in the most efficient manner possible, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to use whatever method works best for them.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Ditch micro-management.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Trust your employees to accomplish tasks through the processes that work for them. Trial and error is a powerful way for people to find out what works best and removing the stigma of &ldquo;failure&rdquo; can be extremely beneficial. Facilitating monthly meetings where the focus is on these successes and failures can also help employees grow and share their experiences. Documenting these meetings in a shared folder or drive allows these learnings to become a valuable way for employees to learn from and discover what the company has done that works and what hasn&#39;t.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>2) Self-Management Is Here To Make Everyone Equal</b></p> <p class="p1"> Work in an organization will always have varying scopes of importance and responsibility. In a true self-managing environment, the goal is not&nbsp; to provide everyone with equal power, but instead, to create a framework that allows employees to find their own power. Successful self-management is growing everyone to the strongest and healthiest versions of themselves.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Encourage employees to follow their passions.</i></p> <p class="p1"> According to Maslow&rsquo;s Hierarchy Of Needs, self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid and represents an individual&rsquo;s need to find their higher purpose. With passion comes purpose. Think about ways to grow your team into the best versions of themselves.&nbsp;Our Customer Loyalty Team allows employees to focus on their own growth for an average base of 20% of their work week that is outside of their primary roles. By carving this time outside of their day to day work, employees are challenged to become involved in culture&nbsp;activities, personal&nbsp;development, or finding new ways to connect with customers.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>3) It&rsquo;s All About Empowerment</b></p> <p class="p1"> Many organizations claim to be empowered but that implies the manager supplies all of the power and transfers it down to others. Employees in Teal organizations are given power; they don&rsquo;t need to fight for it, they simply have it. However, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Employees must think of others and what&rsquo;s best for the team and the overall company purpose when making decisions.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:</b></p> <p class="p1"> <i>Decision making doesn&rsquo;t need to come from the top down.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Every company can pinpoint a time when an idea was lost or a decision wasn&rsquo;t acted on quickly enough because of the need for management approval. In traditional organizations, there can sometimes be a bottleneck at the top of the hierarchy to make decisions. Allowing employees the ability to make bigger decisions without the need for consent from management calls for trust and a decision-making process that involves knowledgeable and relevant colleagues. In Teal organizations, employees seek the advice of those the decision affects, as well as those with subject matter expertise in the task or issue at hand. With all of the information and advice present, trust employees to make the right decisions that can push your organization forward.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>4) Its Still Experimental &nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p1"> There are many examples of companies successfully working off the principles and processes of self-management since the 1950&rsquo;s. Among them are Morningstar, Patagonia, Whole Foods, Wikipedia, Linux, and Alcoholics Anonymous.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <b>Idea To Implement:&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="p2"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> <i>Create your own shade of Teal.</i></p> <p class="p1"> Although self-management sounds like a radically different way of working, the key themes in these principles are fostering an environment where people feel comfortable contributing and ideas are supported.&nbsp;Each organization should look to find ways to take the guiding&nbsp;principles&nbsp;and use them in a way that makes sense for the work they do.&nbsp;&nbsp;Management writer, Gary Hamel, notes that some of these key values to propel self-management forward are:</p> <ul class="ul1"> <li class="li1"> No one can kill a good idea</li> <li class="li1"> Everyone can pitch in</li> <li class="li1"> Anyone can lead</li> <li class="li1"> No one can dictate</li> <li class="li1"> You get to choose your own cause</li> <li class="li1"> You can easily build on top what others have done</li> <li class="li1"> You don&rsquo;t have to put up with bullies and tyrants</li> <li class="li1"> Agitators don&rsquo;t get marginalized</li> <li class="li1"> Excellence usually wins (and mediocrity doesn&rsquo;t)</li> <li class="li1"> Passion-killing policies get reversed</li> <li class="li1"> Great contributions get recognized and celebrated</li> </ul> <p class="p4"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> If this sounds like your workplace already, you are operating in the realm of self-management without even realizing it.</p> <p class="p1"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"> If not, try the above ideas and see if there is pay-off in employee happiness and productivity.&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 07 May 2015 01:08:41 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/selfmanagement-misconceptions 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> <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> <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="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> <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> <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> <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="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> <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> <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> <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="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> <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> <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> <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="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> <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> <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> <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="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> <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> <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> <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="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> <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