What is more liberating for the creative capacity of an employee: following their intuition and testing an idea, or waiting for approval of a boss? The answer to this question is easy, according to Scott Cook, founder of the leading online finance company Intuit. Cook believes that the answer is confirmed by Intuit’s years of consecutive success, achieved thanks to a culture of experimentation shared by all of their employees.
However, constructing that culture has required a lot of time and work. “At the beginning, Intuit’s challenge was simply to survive,” explains Cook during an interview with WOBI. Without any capital investment in sight, at the company’s beginning it had to fight to find investors and, at the same time, face serious competition. The panorama was so meek that at one point Intuit couldn’t pay their employees’ wages. The directors were able to overcome this problematic chapter in the company’s history thanks to a focus on the client and innovation. Today a renowned company, Intuit maintains the same entrepreneurial spirit it had at its beginnings. In the following, discover the characteristics that have led to the formation of Intuit’s successful company culture.
Several years ago when I worked for a company (that shall remain anonymous), I was tasked with creating a new company culture program. My excitement about leading a project that I passionately believed in came to a crashing halt when one of the company’s top C-level executives pulled me aside and asked, “Why are you working on that fluffy people shit?” Clearly this person who was responsible for leading thousands of people was not on board. Although the CEO understood and believed that company culture is a key driver of business success, his passion and enthusiasm did not filter down to even the executive team.
I could see that I had two choices—find another job or figure out a way to convince even the most stubborn naysayers that company culture is not a “fluffy, program-of-the month,” but a critical driver of business success. I chose the latter and made it my mission to learn and teach others the correlation between company culture and business success.
Although for some it may seem like a contradiction, the former CEO of luxury watchmakers Hublot Jean-Claude Biver made it clear from the World Innovation Forum New York stage that it is impossible to look towards the future and innovate without looking to the past. “Without tradition, there is no future,” he assured.
Just by the way he talks you can tell that Biver has a lot of passion. Passion for his work, the people around him, and for ideas. When you have passion for what you do, our work stops being work, he confirmed. But how do you work with passion, nurture a strong culture that creates value and achieve success in today’s current hyper-competitive environment? The following includes tips from Biver on how to make this happen.