Shorts: Kip Tindell on hiring great people and the power of unshackling

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I was reading an interview with Kip Tindell, chief executive of the Container Store, which was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant from the New York Times. There are a lot of golden nuggets in this interview but two struck me as particularly interesting. Here is the first quote:

One of the other foundation principles is that one great person could easily be as productive as three good people. One great is equal to three good. If you really believe that, a lot of things happen. We try to pay 50 to 100 percent above industry average. That’s good for the employee, and that’s good for the customer, but it’s good for the company, too, because you get three times the productivity at only two times the labor cost.

Indeed. I wrote in the past about the importance of choosing the right people. I love the fact that they also pay more as they know they will get more. Now, we can be cynical and say that this is what every company tries to do. But when the CEO talks about it with such passion, for me at least, it rings differently. Imagine knowing you are working in a company that states it hires great people. How will that make you feel about your work? How will this kind of environment support your motivation?

This is the second quote:

So we have what we call foundation principles. They are talked about and emphasized around here constantly. They’re all almost corny, a little bit Golden Rule-ish, but it causes two things. It causes everybody to act as a unit. Even though we’re sort of liberating everybody to choose the means to the ends, we all agree on the ends, and the foundation principles are what cause us to agree on the ends. As a result, we have people unshackled to choose any means to those ends, but it’s not mayhem because our foundation principles kind of tie us together.

I created a 47 minute presentation to explain the power norms have over rules and the meaning of that on the practice of rules in the management world. Tindell put it into one paragraph!

Elad

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