skip to Main Content

Small Giants

I really enjoy these twitter threads after reading. It is helpful to revisit my favorite parts of the books. You can check out the thread full of quotes and personal notes here (contains spoilers):

Even before launching Driven, I had a slight obsession with company culture. I think both of my prior firms did a solid job trying to establish, promote and maintain an internal culture. But I never truly felt the “mojo” that Burlingham uncovers in his reviews of these “Small Giants”. At Driven, we are determined to create, foster and share that mojo.

Companies that build amazing cultures make it look effortless, but I think it is easier said than done. After reading “Small Giants”, “Delivering Happiness” and “Good to Great”, I realize developing culture takes incredible effort and steps that may feel uncomfortable.

The most striking, but potentially uncomfortable, positive action is providing extreme financial transparency with employees. While I understand the initial hesitation by some business owners, “Small Giants” does a great job in highlighting the many benefits of financial transparency. In fact, the book suggests that transparency alone is insufficient, some of the best companies take the additional and favorable steps of educating their employees on the business financials. This ensures every employee understands how their job is impacting the bottom line. While this is helpful in productivity during strong business conditions, the tactic truly pays off in a downmarket.

Featured company, Zingerman’s, provided a perfect example:

“At the monthly huddle with all 140 Bakehouse employees, Carollo and Emberling went over their projections and reluctantly asked people if they’d be willing to give up any of their perks. The employees quickly reached a consensus on doing away with the meals the company was supplying and instead bringing their own. It was a savings of $ 70,000 per year. “You just can’t do that without being open book,” Saginaw said. “If Amy and Frank had said, ‘We’re cutting your meals,’ people would have had an entirely different response. But here they were cutting one of their benefits and feeling empowered. They were feeling good that they could do something to help.”

Additionally, the book does a solid job covering customer service, employee engagement, community engagement, growth and the benefits of developing internal systems.

Let us know what you think!

Back To Top