Lessons From Sun Microsystems Creative Corporate Culture
Although Netscape’s recruitment video is decades old, it’s still relevant to this day. If you want to use it in your own company, it’s readily-available on YouTube and other video sharing websites. But if you simply want to get the core lessons from the interns, employees and Jim Barksdale, here they are:
1. When someone in your company has an idea, someone with the power to bring it to life should back it up. It’s not enough that you tell your co-worker that you think the team should focus on this competency more than the other. Your suggestion doesn’t come off the top of your head; you genuinely want to help the company and think this is the best way. It’s important that your employees find you accessible and approachable. Creative corporate culture, innovation and change doesn’t come from any specific level in the company. It comes from everyone.
2. Use humour and stories to motivate people. Appealing to people’s feelings hits closer to the part of the bran that keeps people motivated, passionate and believing in your company. Using humour dispels the difficulty and helps lessons stick. Sun Microsystem’s video used bad editing but the content made a funny but resounding impact.
3. Practice a culture of inclusion. Although it is necessary to have employee titles, designations and an organizational chart, these only need to be invoked when you need to exercise authority. Otherwise, it may be better to instill a culture of mentorship or ‘school’ where the older employees can be invigorated with the passion of the younger ones and the new generation can gain valuable lessons and insights from the old previous generations. This gives everyone a sense of community and camaraderie since everyone is learning and helping to achieve goals.
4. Give people opportunities for creativity. Don’t just ask people for ideas during meetings. Give them a percentage of time to work on projects on their own within company work hours. Just make one rule that they have to work on something that is aligned with the competencies or interests of the company. Keep in mind that their creative projects don’t need to be profitable; what’s important is you make your staff feel that they have ownership of their projects and ideas and that they are able to do them.
5. The people who take action and initiative are the people who really want it. Chances are, the people who are always passionate about their work and take initiative are the people you want to keep around. These people are more accepting of change and are more likely to adapt to new ideas and systems. These people are also the ones who can contribute the most to the company’s success.
6. It’s better to ask for forgiveness afterwards than ask for permission up front. Allow your people to make mistakes. These things happen. But in this hyper-velocity world, it’s better to try new ideas and find that it doesn’t work right from the start instead of planning, deciding and weighing risks only to find out someone has beat you to the punch.
7. Jim Barksdale has his three ‘snake rules’ to live by when it comes to the tech and IT business:
- a. When you see a snake, don’t wait, don’t call a meeting, don’t ask for permission, just kill it.
- b. Don’t play with dead snakes.
- c. All opportunities start out looking like snakes.
Please share this insight to inspire people to work with more passion and lead with creativity. It’s free like this ad free article. Thank you