Humor at Work: Great Cultures Require Less Rules

When Policy Fails, Try Thinking. (Or Build a Great Culture)

I recently attended the Zappos Insights program in Las Vegas –

a full day immersion into the fabulously wonderful, zappalicous

Zappos culture. The lessons learned about how to build a creative,

service-focused, people-centric, fun workplace are numerous

enough to fill an entire book, so let me just start with one


When you build a great culture, you need less rules. Less policy.

Less bureaucracy. Here’s a simple example. Zappos has no dress

code (other than, you know, you should probably be dressed).

Their philosophy is simply this: if and when an issue arises

around someone’s appearance, rather than penalizing everyone

and treating everyone like children with some ham-fisted policy,

they would simply have a conversation with the individual involved.

One of their many Zappisms: ”We prefer to have conversations,

rather than rules.”

(For more insights from Zappos, cruise on over to the old Humor

at Work website for an article called Zapped by Zappos: Lessons

on How to Build a Workplace Culture that WOWS!)


Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

If you want to generate more creativity and stay future-focused

with an eye on continually improving your workplace, then asking

“What if…?” on a regular basis is a great conversation starter

and idea-generating question. So create a “What if…” board in

your workplace where everyone can write down their “what if”

thoughts, and add a “What if…” section to your meetings.

I don’t know what will come of it, but what if you just tried

it out?


Quote of the Week

“Marketing is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.”

Robert Stephens


It’s a Wacky World

Today could get very weird. It’s official “Take Your House

Plants for a Walk” Day and “Walk on Stilts” Day.

Oh, and this Friday is “Talk in an Elevator Day!”


Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011

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