Posts Tagged ‘management’

On being vulnerable

FT: Time to open up at the office.

Vulnerability means opening yourself to hurt. And as hurt is something that hurts, opening yourself to it is something best avoided.

To risk getting hurt is brave. To act invulnerable is not.

The single most important difference between people who can connect and those who can’t is their willingness to be vulnerable.

Leaves me a lot to think about. I generally believe in having tall walls. Time to follow the work of Brené Brown clearly. 

Videos: The Power of Vulnerability, Listening to Shame.

Zappos and culture

Loic Le Meur published an interesting video interview with Tony Hsieh, CEO of, an online shoe sales site (that serves the Americas – OK, they have international shipping, but the rates are pretty expensive), that prides itself in excellent customer service (even their tagline is “POWERED by SERVICE™”).

I planned on summarising it, but the folk over at ReadWriteWeb did a good job, so go forth and read: Zappos CEO Talks Culture Fit and the Important of Creating a “Wow” Experience.

Support Management Escalation

Red Hat Management Escalation Contacts

Wow. “Need to raise a concern to Red Hat Support management? Use the contact information.” These are all contact details (work, mobile, and email) of directors, and senior managers from Global Support Services, at Red Hat.

I value this openness. I value good customer service. I wonder how many calls or emails management actually gets, though, from irate customers?

This should be a model for all support organisations, no matter how large or small.

Motivation: pay new employees to quit

This is an interesting way to motivate your employees: pay new employees to quit.

Zappos sells shoes online. Their new employee hiring process? Spend a month getting trained, and immersed on the company’s culture, strategy and its obsession with customers, and at the end of it all, ask if people want to quit, plus give them a $1,000 bonus to do so. Why?

  • Shows one’s commitment level to the company
  • This way you’ll keep the most motivated employees around
  • Some people may have signed up for the job, and after a month’s training realise, that its not for them… Its an easy exit path
  • Keep employees engaged

Zappos only loses about 10% of their new employees this way. And they’re all the better. The leaving bonus started at $100, moved up to $500, and now its $1,000 (they will increase this as the company expands). They are large – 1,600 employees and growing.

From what I gather, they have a very connected culture… Their CEO has a blog, most of their employees are on Twitter, and they really are obsessed with customers – read I Heart Zappos. This is Customer Relationship Management 2.0!

Definitely a thing or two to learn from the way Zappos operates. From a business perspective, it just goes to show that while it might have made sense to sell books online (Amazon), it also definitely makes sense to sell personal items like shoes (Zappos) and designer clothing (Net-a-porter) online too. Items that one might think are too personal to buy at the click of a button…