Despite the recent publicity about the world famous Zappos workplace culture being potentially under threat due to its adoption of Holacracy, I still rate Zappos as having a High Performing workplace culture, and that Holacracy will in fact only make it stronger.
Recently when explaining why I believe the Zappos culture will be fine, I recalled a passage from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s book ‘Delivering Happiness’, in which Hsieh shared his fascination with dance rave culture, and how he has tapped into it throughout the years, not just recreationally but also as a business strategy.
Referring to a rave he’d been at, Hsieh recalled;“The entire room felt like one massive, united tribe of thousands of people, and the DJ was the tribal leader of the group. … It was as if the existence of individual consciousness had disappeared and been replaced by a single unifying group consciousness. The same way a flock of birds might seem like a single entity instead of a collection of individual birds … I made a note to myself to make sure I never lost sight of the value of a tribe where people truly felt connected and cared about the well-being of one another.”
When the leader of your organisation thinks like this and then writes publicly about his perspective, you might, If your organisation was a ‘traditional’ one, begin to worry. But Zappos is anything but ‘traditional’.
Formed in 1999 as startup online shoe store, Zappos was acquired ten years later by amazon.com for $1.2 Billion. Wall street questioned why Amazon had paid so much and Amazon’s CFO replied “We didn’t buy their stock and systems we bought their culture”. Now that’s something to Rave about!
Cultural Questions For Consideration.
How much would someone pay for your workplace culture?