Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood. . . . Make big plans: aim high in hope and work.
—DANIEL BURNHAM, U.S. ARCHITECT (1846–1912)
Once upon a time there was a big company. It was a major player in the technology world and, by every measure, it was a success. But company leaders were concerned. To them, the company culture felt stodgy and stale. Leaders of the organization wanted to refresh it, to make the company a place where people wanted to work. So it created the People Deal, the embodiment of the experience it wanted people to have.
The Deal outlined what employees could expect from the company and what the company expected of employees. At the heart of the People Deal was the theme of “connection.” For its people, that meant employees could expect to be connected to people, information, and opportunities they needed for success. In return, the company expected employees to align their work with both business goals and customer needs.
That company? Cisco Systems, the behemoth at the heart of much of the tech world’s infrastructure. If the world’s largest networking company, with more than 70,000 employees, felt that culture is vital enough to engage in a major engagement program, it’s probably a big deal. And Cisco did it right: with creativity, alignment of expectations, respect for its people, and total commitment.
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