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  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Hello, everyone.

  • Welcome, fellow Googlers and guests.

  • I am delighted to introduce to you

  • today an extremely inspiring, thoughtful, and genuine person,

  • the chairman and CEO of The Container Store,

  • and the author of "Uncontainable," Kip Tindell.

  • Kip has been the helm of The Container Store

  • since its stores opened in Dallas in 1978.

  • This is the first store that was devoted solely

  • to organizational and storage products.

  • The Container Store has stores nationwide now

  • and a thriving website.

  • But for Kip, the goal has never been growth for growth's sakes,

  • but rather to adhere to the company's

  • value-based foundation principles, which

  • center around an employee-first culture, superior customer

  • service, and strict merchandising.

  • In November 2013 under Kip's leadership,

  • The Container Store became a public company.

  • The primary reason again for this being

  • to get more stock into the hands of employees,

  • to maximize the autonomy for the company's culture

  • and management team and to have a more visible stage

  • to create a conscious company that

  • inspires others to emulate.

  • Kip is also very actively involved

  • in the community, dedicating time and resources

  • to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas,

  • serving on the board of Whole Foods Market.

  • He is also the first vice chairman of the board,

  • chairman of finance committee, and treasurer

  • of the National Retail Federation.

  • And last, but certainly not least, he is passionately

  • involved as a leader in Conscious Capitalism, Inc.,

  • which is a community of like-minded business

  • thought and academic leaders who are working to elevate humanity

  • through a conscious approach to business.

  • And before Kip begins telling us about his book,

  • we have a short video to watch.

  • [VIDEO PLAYBACK]

  • -How do you build a business where everyone can thrive?

  • By simultaneously creating value for everyone involved.

  • For us, that starts with our employees.

  • -Everything that I do and don't do

  • matters and affects someone around me.

  • And when you feel that kind of responsibility, going to work

  • is exciting.

  • I can't wait to get up and get my day started.

  • That's what I love about working at The Container Store.

  • I don't just sell products.

  • I solve problems by helping our customers get organized,

  • which I know can improve their lives.

  • I can really focus on helping them,

  • because I get the communication, training, and support I need

  • from the company, my managers and team, I absolutely love--

  • -Walking into the store.

  • No matter what my day's been like,

  • I can always find a little bit of calm to take home.

  • The employees are so happy and helpful,

  • you can't help but smile.

  • -And let me tell you, my kids notice when I'm less stressed.

  • When I can find what I'm looking for, I have more energy

  • and I can get everyone out the door on time.

  • -The Container Store is more like a--

  • - --friend than a company.

  • I'm not just a vendor to them.

  • We're partners in success.

  • They looked beyond the fact that I was just starting my business

  • and they saw the potential in my product and in me.

  • Because of our partnership, my business

  • has grown tremendously.

  • We've hired more people, developed new products,

  • and even taken on a new factory.

  • Together--

  • - --we've impacted so many lives.

  • Our unique partnership over the years

  • has impacted the way thousands of people

  • think about their minds-- increasing creativity,

  • organizing their minds, and increasing their capacity

  • to think smarter.

  • Our connection with The Container Store--

  • - --has helped us support many conscious businesses.

  • Their commitment to their foundation principles,

  • employee-first culture, and conscious capitalism

  • is not just marketing spin.

  • It's making a difference.

  • The idea that you can make business decisions based

  • on love and still be highly profitable

  • is gaining momentum and credibility.

  • And profits aren't a bad thing.

  • They're what give businesses the ability

  • to take better care of their employees

  • and give more to their communities.

  • It's not altruism.

  • It's capitalism being done in a conscious way that

  • ensures everyone--

  • - --All the customers--

  • - --the employees--

  • - --all the vendors--

  • - --the entire community--

  • - --and the shareholders--

  • - --can all thrive together.

  • [END VIDEO PLAYBACK]

  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Now if you can all

  • help me in extending a warm welcome to Kip Tindell.

  • [APPLAUSE]

  • KIP TINDELL: Thank you.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Well, that's what we're trying to do at The Container Store

  • is a create a business where everyone thrives.

  • And we spend more time working than any other waking endeavor.

  • And so I just think it's probably

  • the best thing you can do with all those hours

  • that you spend working, create a business where

  • everyone thrives.

  • And that means very much in the conscious capitalist

  • stakeholder model, the employee thrives, the community thrives,

  • the vendor thrives, the shareholder thrives.

  • Everyone associated with the business thrives.

  • How many of you have shopped at The Container Store?

  • OK, that's pretty good.

  • We have to work on you too.

  • Well, we began in 1978 with one tiny little 1600-square-foot

  • store in Dallas, Texas, with a whopping $35,000 in capital.

  • And somehow we knew-- I don't know how,

  • but somehow we knew that-- I mean,

  • people think of The Container Store as saving space,

  • getting you organized.

  • But what I think we're really doing

  • is giving our customers the gift of organization.

  • You really have no choice but to be reasonably

  • well-organized in your life if you're

  • going to accomplish half of what you want to accomplish.

  • Something as simple as getting two children ready for school

  • in the morning is either a nightmare or a pleasure,

  • depending upon how organized you are and they are.

  • Traveling is so much simpler if you're

  • reasonably well-organized.

  • So I really do feel like we're giving the gift of an organized

  • life to our customers.

  • It was interesting starting the business.

  • I mean, my dad, who's like, he's kind of a Texas oil man, right?

  • He was like, you're going to open

  • a store that sells empty boxes?

  • I mean, he was really concerned about all that.

  • But that's not really the target customer at all.

  • So it all worked out.

  • We run our company on seven foundation principles,

  • which I won't be able to go into all in this little talk.

  • But they're all available online at our blog,

  • whatwestandfor.com.

  • And these seven foundation principles

  • are identical to the four tenants

  • of conscious capitalism.

  • And we've been operating that way since 1978.

  • We just didn't know to call it conscious capitalism back then.

  • And so they're simple, almost corny,

  • "do unto others" type things that everybody agrees on.

  • How many of you don't really agree

  • with that "do unto others" thing?

  • You think that's a bad idea?

  • So see, everybody agrees with these simple things.

  • One of them is Andrew Carnegie's statement.

  • The great industrialist Andrew Carnegie

  • was laying on his deathbed and attributed all

  • his business success to the one credo, the one guiding

  • light that fill the other guy's basket to the brim-- making

  • money then becomes an easy proposition.

  • Fill the other guy's basket to the brim-- making money then

  • becomes an easy proposition.

  • That's the exact opposite of what

  • people are raised to believe, that business is somehow

  • a zero sum game, where someone has to lose in order for you

  • to win.

  • And so that one foundation principle,

  • fill the other guy's basket, has us creatively

  • crafting mutually beneficial relationships with our vendors.

  • And being able to compete with the giant,

  • mass merchant retailers in America,

  • because we can't beat them on volume necessarily.

  • But we can beat them on relationship

  • synergistic win-win, fill the other guy's basket relationship

  • with these vendors.

  • And you become your vendor's favorite customer.

  • And you don't have to beat up your vendor to get ahead.

  • It's far better to creatively craft that mutually beneficial

  • relationship, which is only limited by your imagination

  • and how much you can learn about each other's businesses.

  • And then you form this synergistic relationship

  • that is immensely more profitable than just

  • the old power struggle, the tug and back and forth

  • of trying to sort of beat up the vendor.

  • And it's much more enjoyable.

  • If you look at the companies that

  • are dominating their niches-- and Google

  • is a great example-- Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods,

  • Costco-- they're very good at those synergistic

  • relationships.

  • That's where actually more money is made.

  • Conscious capitalism is not a sacrifice.

  • Conscious capitalism actually makes you more profitable than

  • if you were trying to do it the other way.

  • And that's why I think that eventually, people

  • like John Mackey, the Whole Foods guy,

  • and I can quit trying to spread the word

  • about conscious capitalism, because I think

  • a good capitalist is going to eventually adopt

  • that methodology which is most successful.

  • And it's kind of a movement.

  • And it's kind of beginning to happen like that.

  • Skepticism is vanishing.

  • Much to my delight and surprise, when

  • we did our IPO roadshow, the largest institutional investors

  • on Wall Street, all they really wanted to talk about

  • was conscious capitalism and the quirky, yummy culture

  • of The Container Store.

  • I thought when I tried to talk about culture,

  • they would roll their eyes and get impatient and think

  • "Kumbaya" and all that.

  • But I mean, skepticism is vanishing on this.

  • And it's fun to give a presentation at Google

  • because Google is a great example of it.

  • So I encourage you to read about the foundation principles.

  • They're simple.

  • You can read about them on the blog, what we stand for.

  • And they were created as a means to the end.

  • We have 6,000 employees.

  • We don't want to be 6,000 yahoos going

  • in 6,000 different directions.

  • So we agree on the ends, like fill the other guy's basket

  • to the brim.

  • And then everybody's enabled to choose their own means

  • to the end.

  • I don't think I'm smart enough.

  • No one's smart enough to tell that many people

  • how to handle any given situation.

  • Because life's too situational.

  • And certainly retail is too situational.

  • So that unharnesses everybody to use

  • their own individual creative genius

  • to figure out how to get to that end.

  • And you'll hear things like, well, why do we do it that way?

  • Well, that's because of the Andrew Carnegie thing, the fill

  • the other guy's basket to the brim.

  • And what's remarkable about that,

  • and it kind of surprised me how true

  • it is, even though he never told all these people how

  • to handle a particular circumstance, just

  • liberating everybody to agree on these ends

  • and choose their own means causes a circumstance that

  • arises in the Miami store to be handled miraculously,

  • the same as it is in the Seattle store.

  • People are people.

  • They're using individual means, but the ends are the same.

  • Does that makes sense?

  • I mean, it's just the old means to the end thing.

  • I think it's oppressive to try to tell people