Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taming a Type-A Culture Gone Wild

I found this interesting sort of case study on BNet about Method, the household supply company with the quirky packaging. When their culture went from fun and wierd to mean and angry, the 30-something founders had to make changes. They did so by creating 5 cards that lay out the values of the company, including collaborate, care, innovate - and "keep method wierd" and "what would MacGyver do?"

They also ask interviewees to answer the question, "How would you keep Method wierd?" - a perfect example of an interview question that ensures new hires fit within the corporate culture. This article ultimately provides some great insight into using culture strategically to keep bullies out.

Here's the article... enjoy

San Francisco-based Method is one of those quirky companies where the halls bustle with smart, opinionated hipsters who, compared to most of us, actually love their jobs. Employees conduct meetings while knitting in the “craft pod,” playing ping pong in the Astroturf room, or just sitting in the middle of an open, office-less floor plan and writing their many ideas on whiteboards that span entire walls. The vibrant atmosphere has helped propel the nine-year-old company to more than $100 million in sales and put its laundry detergent, hand soap, and other products onto the shelves of stores like Target, Lowe’s, and Safeway.

But several years ago, after a period of rapid sales growth and frantic hiring, the free flow of ideas started to get a little too free. Arguments were breaking out in the middle of the very public encampment of cubicles. People were hurling insults at each other, and employees who should have been talking with one another weren’t. For a cleaning products company composed of “people against dirty,” things were getting messy.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


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