Excited to release this 34-minute interview I did for Zappos Insights (back in Dec 2009). This was content previously available exclusively to the Zappos Insights membership community. In this video, my good friend Robert Richman, Product Manager of Zappos Insights, and I seriously geek out on the link between storytelling and cultures of innovation.
Understanding the Zappos Brand
Did you know it’s harder to get accepted for a job at Zappos than it is to get into Harvard?
It’s true. Every new hire then starts with 4-weeks of training on the phone with customers (even if you’re the new VP of Sexy Shoes). After a week, they offer you $2,000 to quit. Yeah, that’s right, they will pay you to QUIT. If you decide to stay (and most of course do), you can just imagine how inspired and dedicated you become.
This is just one of the best practices Zappos developed on their way to becoming the most emergent, dynamic work culture you could dream up for a $1 billion company.
“Your brand is a lagging indicator of your culture.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
If you’re interested in exploring this more, CEO Tony Hsieh’s bestselling book Delivering Happiness is one great place to start. It’s one of the few business books I’ve actually read cover to cover in a long time (I couldn’t put it down). Based on the all attention they received, Zappos is now on a mission to transform how the world thinks about “corporate culture”. There’s more about these efforts described below.
Zappos Insights is Out to Rebrand “Culture”
In case you’re wondering, Zappos Insights is a special division of Zappos which teaches other companies how to create WOW cultures of service and innovation. If you’re ever in Las Vegas, you have to sign-up for the free company tour. It will blow your mind! You can also go to Zappos Insights website and request they mail you a Culture Book that tells the Zappos story in the words of its employees. Pretty awesome stuff.
If you’re looking for some serious learning, attend one the two-day Bootcamps – it provides an intimate look into the Zappos way and teaches you how to create a unique blueprint for your own company’s growth and culture. One of my clients sent their entire leadership team to one of these events last spring and they returned a team transformed.
Another great resource: sign-up for their free culture interviewing tips and stay tuned as Zappos Insights rolls out a revamped online membership program in a few weeks. I’m excited to share I’ve been working with the Zappos Insights team as it evolves new curriculum, content, and offerings, and I occasionally teach at their Bootcamps. I’ll keep you posted on these developments.
What’s Your Favorite Take-Away From the Interview?
Would love to hear your own thoughts on the topic. How are you looking to shift culture? Have you started to work with the stories? Add your comments and questions below.
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