Operating Principles

How we put our values into practice.

Is it best for the customer?

Everyone we engage with is our customer--not only the people who buy our products and services, but also speakers, authors, and business partners.

Look from the outside in.

Start with the customer's point of view. It's about them, not us! Focus on how whatever we're creating or promoting matters to the recipient. Connect with others outside of the company--people who have jobs similar to yours, competitors, companies whose work you admire. That outside perspective helps us continually redefine who we are.

Tell meaningful stories.

Stories matter--people are wired to pay attention to them, and we understand through narrative. Our products always have a meaningful story, a "why this is important," behind them. Our job is to tell those stories in a way that's meaningful to the customer and illustrative of the company's values.

Surprise and delight.

Go for thoughtfulness, extras, whimsy, the unexpected--those special touches that lift us above the ordinary and create a shared experience of "Yes!" Whether it's creating a product, communicating with customers, or working with co-workers and our network, aim for surprise and delight.

Err on the side of generosity and reciprocity.

We humans are wired to help those who help us--reciprocity is a better way to motivate behavior than rewards! It's a kind of currency. With customers, communities, and co-workers, when you ask for something, make sure to give something back.

Embrace, adapt to, and drive change.

Expect tomorrow to be different from today. Your job, your audience, your co-workers, your desk, your boss--these are all likely to change as the company experiments and grows. Whether driven by internal inspiration or external circumstances, there's always an opportunity to do something better or new.

Is it best for the company overall?

Think higher than your project, team, department, or division. Go for the biggest possible benefit.

If it's high impact for the company, it's high priority for you.

It's easy to fill up your day with the routine, the "nice to do," or things that someone requests. Don't! Do the things that get us closer to company goals.

If you have a better idea, say so! Whether it's your job or not.

We need the smarts and creativity of every employee to succeed. Feel free to offer suggestions and put forth new ideas. They may not all get adopted, but they'll be heard and considered.

Know your numbers.

No matter what your job, there are important numbers that gauge success. Know what those are, and keep tabs on them.

Measure what matters.

You can't manage what you don't measure--how do you know if something's working unless you can track its progress?

If you're not sure, ask.

Ask anyone! While your manager should be a good source of answers, feel free to check in with people outside your group.

If you can't agree in under 60 minutes, bump it up.

To be an agile company, we need to get to decisions quickly. It's management's job to make the call when work groups hit an impasse.

Be tough on problems, not on people.

Dig deep to find the best solutions--attack problems fearlessly and incorporate ideas from those with different perspectives. Don't be afraid to disagree, but do it with respect. Focus on issues and facts, not personalities or positions.