Friday, November 25, 2011

Culture, integrity, and the 5 whys

I recently read the auto biography of Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, Delivering Happiness.

The interesting part is that Tony discovered that the solution to make himself, his customers, his employees, his suppliers happy was to build an enterprise culture. In other words, gather, write, preach and fanatically defends the core values shared by the company.

On the personal level we call this kind of behavior integrity.

The only company with high integrity I have seen is Amazon I was such amazed when they paid shipping fee for recieving my books 30 minutes late.
But... wait Amazon has bought Zappos ! Who is the CEO of Amazon ? what a surprise ! One of the best speak I have ever seen some month ago was from this guy, this CEO, Jeff Bezos. Tony and Jeff are really inspiring !

When something goes wrong, I commonly asked the 5 whys to find the root cause of a problem, so we can fix the cause instead of the symptom.

To be a company with as much integrity as Amazon or Zappos I suspect that we should keep asking why as long as we don't hit any core value.
If you don't find any core value then the integrity of the individual or company is corrupted.

If you don't find any core value then you are responding to external events. They are affecting and control your own mood and responses.

Some external events might be total randomness. Other events can be willingly triggered by someone.

If you don't find any core value to your problem let it broken, don't solve it. Just say no and move on.
This is the first step to fix integrity a little bit.

But first what is your core values anyway ?