“Don’t be evil” – Google. What a crock of shit. The surest way to get someone to do something evil is to suggest the very idea that they might in fact make a choice that is evil. This phrase is the motto enshrined in Google’s ‘Code of Conduct’. Thought of as a breakthrough in corporate culture in the early 2000s, this phrase amounts to a shell inside of which shadowy firms feign just enough transparency to win customer trust while siphoning personal data for sale to foreign nations. Continue reading
The state of healthcare in this nation has been a hot button issue for decades. Not a month goes by that our Leadership Reviews highlight the critical nature of healthcare for our employees. Healthcare is the second largest expense for a team behind salary so it’s no wonder that corporate culture will do anything to drive down these costs. I don’t believe in lobbyists. I don’t believe that the government will be able to get anything done.
I always tip my barista. Even if it’s just for a small coffee, I tip. The smile as they hand me my first cup of coffee grounds me in simple humanity that reinforces the small connections we share that make this great ecosystem go around. You can’t quantify the impact of a smile. Trust me, my team tried.
Those who live in glass houses can’t get jealous.
When you walk into my team area you’ll see numbers everywhere. We collaborate over whiteboards in open areas to showcase our ideas not only to our immediate team but to encourage collaboration with people who may be passing by. You’ll see numbers on spreadsheets laid across desks as analysts pour over numbers to steer us to our next record quarterly sales growth. You’ll see the number of customers served on an automatic ticker, constantly going up. But the most important number that you’ll see in our workspace is on the walls next to our desks. It’s our salaries.
The most common question people ask me about our holistic hiring practices is how we continue to nurture and grow the family relationships we established during the employee vetting process.
To be honest, we weren’t really great at doing this at the very beginning. It wasn’t until my dear friend Carin told me about their flexible work program, Education Illumination Option (EIO), that we found our solution. Continue reading
Creating a baby friendly office that increases productivity for the whole team
Family is everything. We work hard for our customers so that we can provide comfort and opportunity for our loved ones. Every team I’ve had the privilege of leading I’ve heard the same feedback, “Carin, we love what we do but we all just want to spend more time with our families.” I heard it loud and clear. Continue reading
I received a touching email this week from one of the first people I mentored. It’s always nice to hear from old friends and Alice was particularly special to me. Alice (name changed for privacy) was fresh out of business school and working for me when she came to me in confidence. She said, “Carin, I’m not sure I fit in here.” I was stunned. She graduated in the top 10 of the Kellogg School of Management, interned at the State Department as a Data Analyst and then made the bold decision to switch to retail in the last quarter of school. This was everything I admired about her when we first met. It was like looking into a mirror during our interview.
I remember the first time I was called arrogant. They didn’t come right out and call me arrogant but I could see through their language. I was ten years old sitting embarrassed in a class of nearly all boys being chastised by the teacher for ‘tooting my own horn’. The phrase was alien to me. All I had said was that I was the best as reading aloud. Nothing was worse than waiting for the kids with poor annunciation to work their way through half a page when I knew I was more qualified and more capable in leading group reading.
People always ask me why we have an HB and not an HQ.
It’s certainly not a novel approach. In the last decade, many companies have cited moving away from physical headquarters in favor of virtual spaces. But this lets technology dictate your decision. Technology lacks heart and soul.
How do you know if you need a mental health day?
It was six months to the date that I had returned from maternity leave. What a whirlwind. The growth of my first child was outpacing my business. This was my thought as I looked out the window of our new office. Our team was growing. We were adding more buildings. New teams. New life. As I watched the sunrise on that January day I had an unabating urge to run back home. I didn’t want to go to my meetings. I was booked in back to back one on ones, usually my favorite day, but I just wasn’t feeling ready. What was going on? This is when I knew I needed a mental health day.