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  • Set the stage with a few slides and some comments.

  • But, the main stage is gonna be with Brian.

  • When he comes up and

  • talks about how he built the airbnb culture.

  • So you're here you,

  • I've been following the presentations.

  • And so, now you know how to get started.

  • You've built a team.

  • You start to sort of build your product.

  • It's off the ground, it's growing.

  • People love it, you figured out how to do that.

  • You figured out how to create a very special one of

  • a kind company with monopoly powers that's big,

  • and the market that you're chasing after

  • is slightly bigger than the paper air plane business so

  • you're good, right?

  • So, now what?

  • So, we're here to submit that actually culture is

  • the thing that's gonna be very, very important for

  • you to be able to scale the business.

  • As well as your team.

  • And hopefully,

  • after this talk you'll be able to know what,

  • what is culture?

  • Why does it matter?

  • How to sort of create your core values and think about

  • elements that sort of fit together for a core values

  • in the culture that create a high performance team.

  • And get some best practices for the culture.

  • So, what is culture?

  • Anybody have a, wanna take a guess at what,

  • how one should define this?

  • >> A set of values >> Yeah, that's good.

  • Did you look that up on the,

  • because you had a computer and Internet connection.

  • Did you just look it up?

  • So these are some definitions, that,

  • you'll find, in, in Webster's dictionary.

  • And.

  • But that, that.

  • We're at Stanford.

  • This is kind of a trick question, it's a CS class.

  • Questions are never straightforward.

  • The real question is, what is company culture gonna be?

  • You know, culture that we can

  • generally talk about society.

  • About groups.

  • About places or things.

  • Here we're talking about company culture.

  • And so how do one define company culture?

  • We can take the previous definition and

  • modify it a little bit.

  • And so every, this is a hint of how we may want to

  • define company culture.

  • Everyday blank and blank of each member of

  • the team in pursuit of our company blank.

  • And some people have filled these in with different

  • sort of things.

  • A, the first blank could be assumptions,

  • beliefs, values.

  • My favorite is core values.

  • The second blank for the B blank.

  • People have said behaviors.

  • My favorite, sort of,

  • answer to that is real action, how do you act?

  • And in pursuit of goals, that's kind of weak.

  • in, in, in pursuit of big and

  • hairy audacious goals, that's a little stronger.

  • But a better definition is in pursuit of the mission.

  • So.

  • Now that, sort of, we have that definition,

  • what do we do with it and why does it matter?

  • This is a quote from Gandhi,

  • your beliefs become your thoughts.

  • Your thoughts become your words.

  • Your words become your actions.

  • And your actions become your habits.

  • And your habits become your values.

  • Your values become your destiny.

  • If you don't have a good culture in the company,

  • you can't pursue your destiny.

  • Why it matters is it, it becomes the first principles

  • that you sort of go back to when you make decisions.

  • It becomes a way to align people on values that

  • matter to the company.

  • It provides a certain level of

  • stability to fall back on and it provides a level of

  • trust that people can sort of trust each other with.

  • It also give you a list of

  • things that you should be able to.

  • Figure out what to do and what not to do and what

  • the more important thing about that is what not to do

  • And then finally the other thing that is important is

  • it allows you to retain the right employees.

  • There are people in this world that are not gonna be

  • a fit for your company but if you have good strong

  • culture and good strong core values you'll know who you

  • wanna retain and who you do not wanna retain.

  • And if you took the,

  • take the first words the first letter of those it

  • happens to help you move faster.

  • Another reason.

  • You're thinking that's like all mushy stuff.

  • This is actually more scientific stuff.

  • So here are indices for,

  • from 1997 to 2003 of stock market index of companies.

  • And the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 and

  • then for the Fortune 100 best companies to work for.

  • They survey all these companies out there and

  • they've picked out companies that they

  • believe are the best companies to work for.

  • And, the returns, the stock market returns of

  • those companies happens to be 11.8%, 11.08%,

  • which is almost twice that of the other two indices.

  • And so, there's real power in companies that treat

  • their employees well, where there is a lot of trust,

  • where there is a lot of strong culture.

  • So, how do you sort of create a, a set of values,

  • and, and sort of define the culture et cetera.

  • I get asked that a lot.

  • You got to start with the leader of the company,

  • the founder.

  • And, so ask yourself, what are the personal values that

  • are most important to you?

  • What are those things that are most important to

  • the business?

  • Who are the types of people you like working with and

  • what are their values?

  • And, through that,

  • you sort of distill together what a set of values are.

  • And think about all the people that you've

  • never liked working with, what values they have.

  • Think about the opposite of that, and maybe those should

  • be considered values for, for your company.

  • And, finally, remember this,

  • the values have to support your mission.

  • And, if it doesn't support your mission,

  • you're missing something.

  • And, and then the last,

  • final chapter, they have to be credible and

  • they have to be uniquely tied to your mission.

  • So, at Zappos, in terms of uniquely applied to

  • the mission, we're focused on creating a culture that

  • was gonna provide great customer service.

  • So the first core value we had was to deliver.

  • While through service.

  • We're very specific that we want to

  • deliver great customer service.

  • And it was gonna be a wild experience.

  • And then, below that,

  • we want to sort of add a paragraph supporting that.

  • Talking about exactly what we mean by that.

  • We want it to support them, deliver while through

  • service, and support people, such as our employees,

  • our customers, and our brand partners, and our investors.

  • In terms of the opposite thing, we generally didn't

  • like working with arrogant people.

  • So, one of our core values that's that was,

  • was to be humble.

  • So those are two examples where we sort of

  • create a core values in a way that sort of, sort of,

  • became credible and uniquely tied to our mission.

  • So, you go through this process,

  • you come up with a few core values.

  • These might be some of them.

  • Whether it's honestly,

  • integrity, service, teamwork and they might be a list of,

  • you might start with three.

  • You might end up with a list of ten.

  • You might list, list of 30.

  • It's a good start.

  • And when Zappos went through this process we started with

  • like, we asked all the employees at the time,

  • what core values they wanna identify with,

  • we came up with 37.

  • We initially, we sort of whittled it down to

  • about ten.

  • And it took a year to do this.

  • That's a long time and you might wanna ask why.

  • Well, if you just come up with the word honesty,

  • I mean give me a break everybody wants

  • the culture to be honest.

  • Now you.

  • Nobody is going to say I want to be lied to everyday.

  • service.

  • What do you mean by service?

  • There's gotta be a lot more depth in this than that.

  • And nobody, everybody talks about teamwork.

  • But there's a difference in level of

  • team work that you see in a intramural sports team as

  • versus a baseball team.

  • And so how do you sort of dive deeper into team work.

  • What are the things that don't work on for a team?

  • A lot of it has to do with communications.

  • A lot of it has to

  • do with things that people have studied.

  • And you might want to go deeper into that.

  • At Zappos we thought about well there

  • are a lot of smart people in this room.

  • When they're fighting with each and

  • trying to figure out whose right and whose not.

  • It's probably not the best use of time.

  • And we want everybody to sort of riff off each other

  • and help each other make any idea better.

  • The result is that the company gets a better idea,

  • not that any individual person is right.

  • So we wanted to instill this idea that

  • it's company first,

  • then your department, then your team, then yourself.

  • And how do you do that?

  • Gonna go a, ano, a level a little deeper than that.

  • There's another,

  • there's a great sort of sort of element of

  • high performing teams that I really like which is this

  • pyramid that was created by Patrick Lencioni and

  • he wrote this book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and

  • the reason this is interesting is he

  • talks about the breakdowns of a teams.

  • First of all if you don't.

  • A lot of teams break down because they don't have

  • any trust.

  • Then, even if you had trust, why do you need trust?

  • Well, then if you have trust you can actually have

  • debates and conflict and get to the right answer.

  • If you don't have conflict and debate, people are just,

  • it's the blind leading the blind.

  • How do you know you actually got to

  • the right answer before you sort of commit to something?

  • So, people are not actually willing to commit.

  • They're afraid of committing.

  • And so let's say you get to the next level and

  • you are actually able to commit.

  • Well what, what goes wrong then?

  • It's usually because people are not held accountable to

  • things that they committed to?

  • And if people are not held accountable to the things

  • that they've committed to, then they can't get results.

  • And I would submit to you,

  • if you think about the company as a black box,

  • and results, whether it's financial,

  • whether you produce a great product,

  • or anything like that as the output.

  • One of the major inputs is the culture of the company.

  • So some other best practices we're gonna actually talk

  • about during Q and A because I think this is gonna blend

  • into the conversation is that you want to incorporate

  • your mission to values we've talked about that.

  • Performance, you gotta think harder,

  • deeper, longer about your values than

  • you might initially think you need to do.

  • One of the things I think that a lot of

  • companies don't actually do is they interview for

  • a technical fit or skill fit or competency in that realm.

  • But they don't actually interview for

  • the culture fit, and

  • whether someone will actually believe and