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Posts Tagged ‘core values’

A Missing Core Value?

August 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I’d venture to say that every technology company has phrases similar to “elegant products“, “technical excellence“, “innovative solutions“, and “quality first” smartly written in its mission and/or core values statements. I’d also venture to say that “schedule is king” is not explicitly inscribed in those WORN documents.

Regardless of what is espoused in their cutesy mission and core values statements, all mediocre and underperforming corpricracies operate day-to-day as if “schedule is king” is their top priority. How many times have you heard managers say the words “quality“, “elegance“, or “excellence” when discussing or reviewing a project? Now, how many times have you heard the word “schedule” uttered by managers?

If “quality“, “elegance“, or “excellence” are never mentioned because they’re “auto-assumed” to be present in all project endeavors, then why write them down? If “meeting schedule at all costs” is really what drives day-to-day behavior in the DYSCO, then why not write it down and put it at the top of the list?

Doing More With Less

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Zappos.com core value number 8 is: “Do more with less“. Assume that you miraculously experience an epiphany and eagerly subscribe to this noble value. Using the figure below as a reference, how would you go about increasing profits while simultaneously flattening the “Resource Consumption” trace? Can it be done in your org?

Be Humble

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Zappos.com’s core value number 10 is: “Be Humble“.  According to CEO Tony Hsieh via his book Delivering Happiness (DH), the “Be Humble” core value has probably had the most impact on hiring decisions at Zappos.com.

There are a lot of experienced, smart, and talented people we interview that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line. But a lot of them are also egotistical, so we end up not hiring them. At most companies, the hiring manager would probably argue that we should hire such a candidate because he or she will add a lot of value to the company, which is probably why most large corporations don’t have great cultures.

So, how can you weed out the BOOGLs, CGHs, CBMs, SCOLs, and determine whether a candidate fits well with your culture? Zappos.com requires each candidate-for-hire to go through two sets of interviews: one with the hiring group to evaluate skills fit, and the other with the Human Resources (HR) group to determine cultural fit. It’s the latter that sets Zappos.com apart from the herd (moooo!). They ask questions specifically derived from their set of 10 core values.

So much for being humble myself. If I was, this blog wouldn’t be soaked with acronyms like BOOGLs, CGHs, CBMs, SCOLs, and other childish terms from the readme.txt page 🙂

Note: Tony et al will be starting a book tour in August and they will be traveling around in a souped up DH bus. You can follow the happiness on Twitter at dhbus and dhbook and ceo@zappos.

A Unique Core Value

January 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Unless they’ve been cleverly camouflaging their sinister ways from the world’s prying eyes, the people at Zappos.com truly do live and breathe their corporate values every day. My favorite, and perhaps most unique Zappos core value is number three: “Create Fun and a Little Weirdness“. Here’s how the Zappos team describes this precious gem from the viewpoint of their “Core Values Frog” (CVF):

Our CVF has a sense of humor; he knows that it’s good to laugh at yourself every once in a while. Work shouldn’t be synonymous with drudgery; CVF can find fun and weirdness even when the rubber meets the road and we’re getting lots done. Being a little weird requires being a little innovative, and CVF is always looking for a chance to fully engage in his work and bring out the fun and weird side of it.

In tribute to CV #3, the people at Zappos have held impromptu parades, hula hoop contests, head shavings, and all kinds of other weird events both on and off the company’s premises.

Of course, Zappos is just a lowly $1B retail shoe company and your business is much more different, respectful, and prestigious. Thus, it’s patently obvious that Zappos core value #3 can’t possibly work in your corpo palace. Right?

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