As CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh wanted to create a tight knit corporate culture. Tony preferred to hire individuals with a similar vision instead of employees focused on their salary. Hsieh purchased a large gathering place just, so he and his close friends or friends of friends could relax, hang out and be a group of peers, not coworkers. He felt if employees focused on the vision of the company, an outstanding customer experience, the pay would come, and he would have interested long term employee. A call center representative could be become a senior manager within 5-7 years (Askin). The growth required to allow employees to move up quickly is difficult to fathom. I believe Hsieh is a transformational leader. He utilizes the transformational leadership style to create a vision (9 common leadership styles: Which type of leader are you?, 2015). The vision can be against the normal operating model but that does not matter. As long as he has the right team around him, a leader can utilize the transformational style. The style is inspirational to employees and can help “sell” the vision and the culture for the company. I would prefer a more democratic leadership style. I prefer to utilize facts and the experience of those around me. I do not have to be the smartest or have the broadest vision, just have to manage a quality team who are free to express their ideas. I prefer to have input from multiple views before making decisions. I know that does not always happen, but everyone brings different experiences to the table. The culture created would be collaborative. Ideas would be shared, explored and implemented if appropriate. Committees can be useful, but to many are a waste of time. The committees would help create policy and drive culture. They would not be limited to upper management. People working a few weeks to those from the beginning could be on the same committee. In the room, management level does not matter, all are peers looking to better the business. Having communication lines to all levels of the business can help direct policy and allow upper management to remain connected to the day to day operations and employees while shaping the future. A previous company I worked for had committees for everything, but nothing was accomplished. The meeting took hours but no one came prepared for the meeting. There were to many committees or the committee still met just because the meeting was on the calendar. I worked in risk management and felt a member of risk management should be included in change initiatives and business process upgrades. Risk management would find out after a process did not go as planned or posed serious financial risk. Having the right people on the steering committees may have helped prevent some failures. Committees were only for management and if they did not have the desire or time to be involved, the ball was dropped. I offered, as an analyst, to join committees, even if it was a silent member just to gain perspective and to report back. My idea was not taken very well. Companies have to be adaptable. Post 2000, the world changes very rapidly. A 20-year plan created before 2000 would likely be outdated in todays world. 5-year plans must be adjusted based upon the market and competition. The vision must be created to withstand time, but the strategy must adapt. Having support systems in place, such as open-door policies, committees with all levels of employees and an upper management team who looks at the vision and not their paycheck will help the company navigate the changing world.
Let me be transparent about Zappos in I have been a customer. And overall the experience has always been a good shopping deal. I had never heard about the system of holacracy until reading literature about it. While I think it has some good points, I feel its like the inmates running the asylum. Focus At the heart of this idea, is employee empowerment. Tony Hsieh in my view based on his background, looks at empowering his employees for the benefit of the customer in a maximum great experience. By empowering employees to make their own decisions you find and build their passion for the job and service to the customer, and it all falls into place, profits will take care of itself. If I Under the later part of the 20th century, and for sure, the 21st century, my way or the highway for the most part has been thrown out. And I think Zappos has some good points with the holacracy system, especially with employee empowerment and emphasis on great customer service. Yet, I would have more of a straight up and down vertical structure with some hierarchy modifications. And the reason for this would be control and accountability. Complement This leadership style would complement my vertical hierarchy by giving more of a voice to my employees and the opportunity to incorporate new ideas all the time. Thus, if successful, we celebrate and recognize. And at the same time allow responsibility and accountability to be held where it should be and that is at the top. I particularly say this, for I don’t see any room for dealing with crisis in the holacracy system, and should the company have a major crisis, who will identify as the face of the problem and the fix. Structural support If we focus on the steps suggested by Kotter in leading change, you can see a structure their. From starting with a urgency, building coalitions, up to powering employees, you have a system in place that if done correctly benefits all persons if you can successfully get the buy in, the company and the consumer benefits. And as we have discussed, the change initiative has to be worked from start to finished and then constantly followed up to sustain the process. That is if sold, well executed, sustainability will succeed, this is why structure is important.