This is a great profile on Tony Hsieh and the Zappos recipe. While I like the idea of a strong culture, I don't like the idea of it becoming my "lifestyle." However, a deep and value-driven culture is critical to success in any organization - yet nearly impossible to quantify.
I think leaders within an organization should take notice and invest generously in culture, even if it's just in their own humble department or branch. Happy employees do work that impacts. Organizations are catching on and if you don't have culture, you'll see your people leaving for places like Zappos.
I went on a tour of Zappos while I was in Henderson, NV earlier this year. It was a very remarkable experience. At first, seeing their culture firsthand seemed sort of superficial, I think the media amplifies it to be greater than it really is, but Zappos believes in promoting progression - I believe that people who are learning and growing are happier, and thus do greater work. This is the only way such a terrible business model could not only succeed, but thrive.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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