Domino’s Boogergate

By: Natalie M Antonio

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RTDdBGawZN8/maxresdefault.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RTDdBGawZN8/maxresdefault.jpg

Domino’s Pizza is a pizza company that was founded in 1960, by brothers, Tom and Jim Monaghan. Back then it was not called “Domino’s” it was started under the name of DomiNick’s. With about in 8,000 stores in about 54 different countries. It wasn’t long after that Domino’s Pizza is the number two pizza chain restaurant in the North America. 1973, Monaghan guaranteed that the customers would receive their order 30 minutes after ordering, or they would receive their order for free. This was soon changed in the mid 1980s to the customers receiving three dollars off of their order. In 1992 Domino’s settled with a family from Illinois, because a woman was killed by a delivery driver. Domino’s settled with them for almost 2.8 million dollars. Again in 1993, a Domino’s delivery driver struck a woman in her van, after the driver ran a red light. Domino’s settled with the woman for almost 80 million dollars. This was also the year that Domino’s took away the “30 minutes or less” delivery guarantee because it gave the perception of reckless and and irresponsible driving. The “you got 30 minutes” campaign was brought back in 2007 (Ravi, 2015), which could imply reference to their earlier slogan, but not promising delivery in 30 minutes or less. One of the slogans from the Ann Arbor, Michigan based company got the best review of them all, “This slogan differs from all the others in a number of ways,” Huber said. “First, it is comprised of two syntactically complete sentences instead of phrases. Second, it includes an attention-getting command that speaks to the reader/listener directly. Third, this slogan uses the name of the brand, Domino’s. In that way, it stands out and is, perhaps, ‘stickier’ despite the extra words (‘the’ and ‘it’s’) and lack of syntactic or semantic or rhythmic balance.”

I am a person who enjoys a good prank every now and then, but there comes a time when those pranks turn dangerous and bad for that person’s personal brand. Some people can be pranksters but there is a fine line of when the pranking either becomes dangerous, stupid or discrediting to the person performing the prank. Especially when it comes to commercial food preparation. This is what happened to two Domino’s employees from North Carolina, Kristy Hammonds and Michael Setzer. At the time of the incident the two employees were in the kitchen, preparing orders for customers. In 2009 the pizza company faced a large PR and social media scandal. Hammonds can be quoted saying “ There’s Michael”, *achoo* “Making someone’s perfect cheese sticks with a big booger on it, then we’ll watch him box it and send it to the heat rack to be served to some unlucky customer, that is in need of some snot.” While Hammonds is saying this, we can see her filming Setzer sneezing on the cheesy bread then poking at the “booger” in the bread. Later in the same video, Setzer can be seen taking a sponge, that was used for washing dishes; wiping himself with the sponge, then using it to wash dishes. In the video Hammonds, makes a comment about how their boss is none the wiser because he is back in his office “reading the paper, like he always does.”

This scandal is obviously a consumer’s and a company’s worst nightmare. There is always a level of trust associated with the people who work in the food industry. As a company Domino’s saw that they had a very large crisis brewing for their personal brand. Tim McIntyre, Domino’s  corporate vice president, who is also a member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). McIntyre tells us about how Dominos reacted to the video going viral after the first 24 hours it had been posted. One of the first emotions that he felt was anger, because he like many others loved this brand, trusted this brand and loved the franchises that they worked with. At first McIntyre thought that this video was a hoax because he could not believe that his employees could film something so real, so reckless, and put it on the internet. Without knowing what the repercussions would be. McIntyre had said almost immediately “You know what, this is a bad one — they’re in uniform, they’re in the store. We need to do something about it.(PRSA 2009)” The next step that the corporate team made was to make still images of the two employees in the video to distribute them to their franchises across the country. This lead to the identification of the two employees. All of that happened within two hours of the video being posted. Some readers of The Consumerist helped narrow down which store that this video was filmed at This video was filmed on Easter Sunday, because the employees were bored and there were very few orders coming into the store at that time. The Tuesday morning after this had happened the corporate team had identified the employees, contacted the local health department, the store owner and the police department. At the end of this day the video had more than 250,000 hits on YouTube. Along with YouTube, this crisis also hit it big on the Twitter front. That same evening at about 7:30 pm, Domino’s social media team looked into what people were saying on Twitter. The initial conversation that was happening involved people saying how horrible the video was, but more about what Domino’s was going to do about this scenario, or if Domino’s knew what had happened. What is even more interesting to me is that Domino’s social media committee had met almost a month prior to this incident, the committee was working on strategies to move Domino’s to the next level, the social media level. the committee was working on moving Domino’s onto Facebook, Twitter and more relevant social media sites. According to McIntyre, the team had a plan in place, they did not want to go into the situation blindly, they wanted to implement the solution correctly, and were going to implement the new social media program only a week after the crisis happened. The social media platform was released in the middle of the “boogergate”.

Because this video was released on a Sunday, especially Easter Sunday, most of the corporate leadership was away on vacation with their families. By Wednesday the president, Patrick Doyle, had come back from Florida to be briefed, because the whole leadership team, was aware of the situation, because of text messages, and E-mail. By the middle of the day on Wednesday, the video had reached almost one million views on Youtube. For the first time ever, in 2009 terms, Domino’s had passed “Paris Hilton” in a word search on Google. This is what ultimately brought this video to the media’s attention. Even though this news broke fast, McIntyre said, “This is fast, but there are 307 million people in America. There are a lot of people who don’t know about it; let’s focus on talking to the audience that’s talking to us. (PRSA, 2009)” In response to this they put a statement up on Domino’s website. It is known that the first 24 hours after a crisis are the most critical ones. McIntyre and the rest of the social media team had to perform a lot of damage control to accomplish. The target audience for this was YouTube, since this is where the crisis first started at. The main problem for the company was to identify the individuals, contacting the customers, ensuring that no one received contaminated food, as well as making sure that no crime had been committed. This was working in conjunction with the police, because the corporate team wanted the employees charged with a crime, because of the visual evidence and the claim that they were going to feed this contaminated food to consumers.

Domino’s wanted to make sure that their point was driven home, in a strong manner, that they do not tolerate this type of behavior. McIntyre had said that it would be different if the employees were teenagers, but the employees were two people in their mid 30s. This is why Domino’s got some flack for initially not responding very quickly. McIntyre also said that they needed to learn perspective on things, by using the analogy of not needing a fire hose to put out a candle. Someone else related the way Domino’s responded in the first 24 hours to a “grocery store with 30 isles but there was only a spill in isle five, and that they didn’t need to mop the whole store because there was a little spill in isle five. But while the spill was happening it was leaking to isle six, seven, four and three. if the same spill were to happen again, we would rope off the surrounding isles.” This was a great analogy of what happened with this crisis. McIntyre also said that this would include posting on the website a little sooner, as well as posting on Twitter a little sooner as well, and communicating to the senior leadership team quicker.

This crisis with Domino’s can be related mostly to the Communication Accommodation Theory. The Communication Accommodation Theory was first initiated in 1971, by Howard Giles, a professor at the University or California, Santa Barbra. This theory was first known as the Speech Accommodation Theory. Giles wanted to find the reason for the shifts in people’s speech patterns, as well as find the consequences of their behavior. Giles was mostly interested in finding they underlying thought process and emotions that can be involved with convergence and divergence during conversations. This theory explains that when people talk to each other, those people can change the way he or she talks to match the way the listener talk. This change can be conscious or unconscious, the person matches their accent, the speed, the rhythm, the vocabulary, as well as the stance and gestures that the person makes.

The reason that the person performs this theory is because he or she wants to agree or want the other person to like him or her. This theory can also come across as the person being fake, or too familiar with the topic being talked about. Sometimes the speaker can use convergence to show that he or she has more power than the listener, the speaker comes across as too patronizing. This the theory is considered sound, because researchers have been able to challenge the different scenarios. Sometimes the conversations can be too complex to break down into the different convergence and divergence scenarios (Communication Accommodation Theory)

This theory can be related to the Domino’s pizza crisis because the leadership team with the corporate team used accommodation to change the way that they responded to the crisis at hand. The team turned to the YouTube platform to record and broadcast their response to the crisis. They figured out that because this crisis first broke on the YouTube front, that the team needed to resolve the problem with the same form of media. With this situation at hand the senior leadership team could have chose to move quickly and deliver false information. They chose to take the time to gather information before confirming the accusations against these two employees, and ensuring the public safety.

As a consumer and someone who has worked in the food industry before, when I found the idea for this case study, I was appalled at the level of carelessness of these two employees. A few years ago Domino’s changed up their formula for their pizza and my family stopped ordering it because their pizza makes me sick. After watching this video I find it hard to order any type of food. As someone who has worked in the food industry at Panera Bread,  I know what goes into keeping a restaurant up to the health codes, and how employees are supposed to treat procedures with food preparation. At Panera Bread we had specific quality assurance protocols that had to be performed a few times a day, for example, we had a special cutting board and knives that had to be used when we made anything with peanut butter, or anything with the tuna salad. We also had protocol for when a food item or utensil hit the floor, as well as protocols for washing the dishes, there was a separate sink for anything that could be considered an allergen. Social media has always been a touchy subject because the older population usually does not want anything do to with social media, where the younger generations are usually glued to what ever forms of social media is on their given mobile device. Especially with my generation, older adults are always telling you “be careful about what you post on social media, it never goes away!” This was true of the video as well, I was able to find the video that was initially posted in 2009 all the way in 2016, with only a few keystrokes. I think that Domino’s did a decent job at maintaining the safety of the public while managing this crisis. They waited until they had the proper amount of knowledge before they implemented their plan to fix the current crisis. This was how I related this case study back to the Communication Accommodation Theory. Other companies can take point from Domino’s leadership team, by keeping cool in the face of crisis, and using social media to apologize and explain themselves to the general public. 

References:

Agnes, M. (2012, March 22). Domino’s Pizza: A Look At the Timelessness of A Social Media Crisis Plan. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from Melissa Agnes website: http://melissaagnes.com/dominos-pizza-a-look-at-the-timelessness-of-a-social-media-crisis-plan/

Communication Accommodation Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2016, from COMMUNICATION STUDIES website: http://www.communicationstudies.com/communication-theories/communication-accommodation-theory

Clifford, S. (2009, April 15). Video Prank at Domino’s Taints Brand. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from The New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/business/media16dominos.html

Dominos Pizza on the Today Show – Workers fired for Dominos prank video. [Video file]. (2009, April 17). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaNuE3DsJHM

Higgins, C. (2015, June 27). 11 Facts About Domino’s Pizza Founder Tom Monaghan (in 30 Minutes or Less). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from Mental Floss website: http://mentalfloss.com/article/65604/11-facts-about-dominos-pizza-founder-tom-monaghan-30-minutes-or-less

Jacques, A. (2009, August 17). Domino’s Delivers During Crisis: The Company’s Step-by-Step Response After a Vulgar Video Goes Viral. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from Public Relations Society of America website: http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/TheStrategist/Articles/view/8226/102/Domino_s_Delivers_During_Crisis_The_Company_s_Step#.WBc9kOErL-Z

Ravi, S. (2013, January 5). Domino’s Pizza. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from Slogan Smith website: http://slogansmith.blogspot.com/2013/01/dominos-pizza.html

SOS Marketing. (2015, May 8). Handling a Social Media Crisis: Domino’s [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llnZn7vLV20

York, E. B. (2009, April 20). What Domino’s Did Right — and Wrong — in Squelching Hubbub over YouTube Video. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from AdvertizingAge website: http://adage.com/article/news/crisis-pr-assessing-domino-s-reaction-youtube-hubub/136086/

   

By: Natalie M. Antonio

An insurance company called USAA, insures and provides members of the United States military with various financial services. USAA makes it their mission to offer men, women as well as their families with reliable medical and financial care. This company offers different seminars for their employees to attend just so they can get a glimpse into what the brave men and women do to protect our country.

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/77/USAA.PNG

USAA deals with a high number of claims each year, because of this they need to hold themselves to a higher standard. This is to ensure that their clients receive the best care possible. On the USAA website they list six standards that they hold themselves accountable for. The first standard on the list was to keep their membership and mission first. This is to ensure that every employee never stops learning, to prioritize, and to protect the enterprise performance. The second standard was to live within their core values, which include, service, loyalty, honesty and integrity. USAA, wants their employees to hold themselves accountable, embrace their own core values, and maintain status as a positive representative for USAA. The third standard on the list was to be authentic and build trust. USAA expects the employees to keep commitments, while being honest and consistent in their actions. The fourth standard included setting the standard to create conditions for people to succeed. Team members are encouraged to be a part of the supportive team environment. The team members are encouraged to contribute knowledge to others on the team, while empowering others to do the same things. The fifth standard included diverse perspectives for superior results, relevant perspectives, and discipline. The company wanted to test new ideas for the betterment of knowledge as well as progress. The final standard was to innovate and work toward building a future. USAA makes it as easy as possible for co-workers and members to do business. Change is a good thing within companies like USAA because they encourage it within themselves.

When it comes to taking a more relationship based perspective, USAA takes more of an ethical decision making approach. USAA achieves this with open and honest communion with the public. USAA members can go through a boot camp for ten weeks, this stimulates the challenges that our U.S soldiers go through everyday. The employees are given commands, made to wear heavy gear, and given meals that they expect soldiers to eat. USAA makes it a priority for their team members to understand how and where their clients are coming from and how they act in the military.

If I had to design a code of ethics for USAA, I would ensure that new employees had the proper training. It is heartwarming to know that USAA has programs such as their boot camps to make their employees sympathize with their very specific clientele. I would possibly go a little further in their company ethics code. It is important for employees to relate to their clients on a very personal level. By going through the boot camp, as well as being held accountable to certain standards is the duty of every employee. The employees are able to determine what is expectable behavior By creating a code of ethics this allows every employee to have a handle on their own behavior in the workplace. The ethical perspectives mentioned above are very critical for a successful company, it allows a relationship between the representative and the family members. The families appreciate it when a company goes the extra yard for them, and USAA has done a fantastic job at revealing that.

When an employee is comfortable in the workplace the productivity goes up. I would want my employees to feel the same way in a business. When holding each other to a certain higher standard while being accountable, I believe that the employees have a level of respect for each other. This is because they are being held to the same standards, which means they are more likely to take risks because of the accountability. If the employees want to succeed they need to have the dedication to complete the task they were given, this is to create a good team atmosphere. I believe that USAA does a very good job at supporting their standards. USAA does support the military and their family members. In the future I believe that USAA will continue supporting the military and their families, with the brand that they have created. The brand of USAA has allowed the company to maintain a good business and a good rapport with their clients.

References:

Fleurke, B. X. (n.d.). Menu. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from http://www.corporate-ethics.org/walking-a-mile-in-the-shoes-of-your-customer/

Innovation, N. R. (n.d.). Culture at USAA | USAA Career Centers. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from https://www.usaajobs.com/life-at-usaa/culture/

McGregor, J. (2012). Employee innovator: USAA. Retrieved October 17, 2016, fromhttps://www.fastcompany.com/53782/employee-innovator-usaa

Shevory, K. (2014). Boot camp for bankers. Retrieved October 17, 2016, fromhttp://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/boot-camp-for-bankers/?_r=0

USAA The USAA STANDARDS. Retrieved from https://www.usaajobs.com/docs/USAA-Standard.pdf

Netflix and Chill? A look into the Culture of Netflix

By: Natalie Antonio

 

Netflix has quickly become the video and tv streaming device of our lifetimes. Netflix has put box stores out of business, such as Blockbuster, because of punctuated equilibria. Netflix has now become available for streaming on many devices, like Mac, PC, Smart T.Vs, as well as gaming systems. It is easy as a college student to blow off responsibilities, log on to Netflix and “binge watch” the hottest TV show. Right now I am in the process of watch the newest episodes of Bones. This is one of my favorite TV shows that I could sit and watch over and over again. This series being on Netflix, has made it easier than going to the library and renting the discs or buying them from a video store.

Netflix started out in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. Their idea had started out with them thinking of creating an online company where people could “buy and rent DVDs from sitting in their homes.(Netflix, inc a Success Story)” At this point Hastings had invested $2.5 million to get the business off the ground.  April 14th 1998.  This is the day when Netflix had finally reached the point of renting out DVDs. On this day, Netflix had about 30 employees, and roughly 900 titles available for renting. The first DVD was available for a seven day rental that cost about $4 for the actual film, and $2 for shipping. The site also used customer feedback to review movies to provide automatic suggestions which would then prompt the customers to rent a new title. One of Netflix’s biggest sales happened in September of 1998. Netflix made 10,000 copies of Bill Clinton’s testimony to the Lewinsky affair. Unlike the other DVDs that were priced at $4, this DVD was priced at two cents and only $2 for shipping. This title sold out within the week.

http://www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/netflix.jpg?w=780
http://www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/netflix.jpg?w=780

In 1998, Netflix had stopped selling DVDs and focused on renting DVDs. They increased employees with about 110 employees, as well as about 250,000 DVDs available for rental. By 2002 the sales of Netflix skyrocketed to $150 million. Finally in 2010 Netflix made online streaming available, making it one of the most popular sites in the United States.

Because of this rapid success Netflix has grown to develop a set of standards, that have also helped developed their culture. The standards in this culture consisting of value, high performance, freedom and responsibility, context not control, high aligned loosely coupled, pay top of market, and promotions & development.

With value listed as one of the first company aspects, Netflix consistently ensures that the quality of their employees as well as a quality in service is met throughout. A value is something that everyone should include on their list of morals. Value is having standards for behavior for the things that are the most important to the individual. From a young age I have been taught to hold value to everything that I accomplish. I have a high standard for myself as well as others, because I would be willing to go that far to accomplish something. To which I believe that other people should have as well. I always want to try and be the best version of myself. I believe that Netflix wants the best for their employees and in return expects the best from them.

High performance was next on Netflix’s list of morals. In any given thing that anyone does I believe that they should hold to the value of high performance. If a person is not willing to give a task their all then they should not expect a good result. I always like to work to my highest potential whether it is inside the classroom, out in the community with volunteering, at my job, or even at the barn when I am training my horse. Within a large company such as Netflix, there is a great expectation for high performance standards.

Freedom and responsibility was next on the list of standards. For a business to succeed in their given community they need some form of freedom and responsibility among their employees. Freedom and responsibility some what go hand in hand, because when exercising freedom, a person also needs to remember what he or she is responsible for. When an employee starts at a new company, they are usually held on a tighter leash, because of the learning curve of a new job. As that employee grows and matures into the culture of that business he or she is then given more freedom thus more responsibility.

Context not control was next on the list. For a recruiter of Netflix to get the best employees possible, the new hire needs to be aware of the work ethic that is put into the work done at Netflix. Any company does not want to hire people who are lazy and unmotivated, Netflix takes this into account when running job interviews. They want people who are going to work at their full potential for their whole career. 

High aligned loosely coupled was the fifth ideal on Netflix’s list. Some people work better in a team or a group atmosphere to ensure that their goals and expectations are being understood and met. As a person who does not usually like group or team work because in past experiences, especially in high school, I have been in charge of the group, making sure that everything gets done on time. But college has slowly changed my mood on group projects, when the work load is distributed evenly and fairly across the board then it makes for a much better attitude towards the given project.

Pay top marketing was the sixth ideal for Netflix. This is a concept that allowed each employer to stay at the top of the market and remain in good standings. The last aspect of the culture of Netflix is promotion and development. I believe that Netflix is doing an amazing job with promotion and development, because they are constantly updating their new releases as well as promoting it having outside companies report on “what’s coming to Netflix in the coming month.”

All of these aspects of Netflix’s culture are attributes that anyone can relate to in any given job in any profession. I have experienced some of these in group projects or work situation that I have experienced. Working hard is a common denominator in each of these attributes. I want to work to my fullest potential in every aspect of my life.

Netflix being such a successful organization and one who I could bring more effective working skills to their company.

References:

Hastings, R. (2009, August 1). Culture. Retrieved October 5, 2016, from

http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664/8-At_Netflix_we_particularly_value

Netflix, Inc. Success Story. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2016, from

https://successstory.com/companies/netflix-inc

For the good of the group- how Google’s Project Aristotle teaches about group dynamics

By: Natalie Antonio

Google, the internet search engine just celebrated it’s 18th birthday. Google has become the company of my lifetime, from starting out in a garage to owning some of the biggest websites. After years of research Google has learned that the best way to treat their employees is to kill them with kindness. They also learned that this was the best way to increase productivity with those employees. Their project titled “Project Aristotle”, took many years, hundreds of employees, about 100 different teams and a lot of data compilation within the four walls of the Google Corporation.

The purpose of Project Aristotle was to learn about the dynamics of the ideal team. Like many other businesses, Google relies on teamwork in order for work to get accomplished. That is why in 2012 Google launched this project. Google began gathering data to be analyzed from studies, and observing ways people acted within a group setting. The main Googlers responsible for Project Aristotle brought light to the business leaders in the world have known. The teams that work the best together are the ones who have respect for each other’s emotions. The teams that worked the best together seemed to collaborate equally in the conversation. Google figured out that groups that were the most productive actually had more to do with how the group interacted with each other and less to do with who was in the group.

Psychological Safety
Psychological Safety

One of the Google’s main goals for Project Aristotle was to establish psychological safety. This makes the employees feel more comfortable with taking risks and opening up to their colleagues. The New York Times took focus to a study by Amy Edmondson, from 1999, that discusses this term. Edmondson says “”shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking… A sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up” This means that an employee should feel comfortable telling the person in charge a personal detail about his or her life, such as someone in his or her family is sick or the person herself is sick. This also means admitting true feelings inside and outside of the office.

The findings of Project Aristotle were really eye opening to me, that Google actually took the time to look into the makings of good team dynamics. I’m sure we’ve all been in those group projects in high school or college, where all the group members are constantly butting heads, accomplishing nothing. Google took the time to form logical data of why certain people work better in a group together. When people who work in a group project either with school or at work, they want to be able to put their whole self forward, not just their public self but their private self as well. I was thrilled to read that Google wants the same for it’s employees, because this is the type of company that I would like to work for some day in the future. This came off the idea after Sakaguchi, a Google employee came forward about his stage 4 cancer.

An example of a time when I was part of an effective group project was at Ashland University in my Topics in Health and Risk Communication class. After joining this class late because the class had a wait list. I was tossed into a group project with a group of girls who had already known each other for some time, and had all worked together before. I felt intimidated in this group at first, but the girls showed me how to research things, then we collaborated on the ideas that made our project highly effective. For this project we had to create a 90 second public service announcement, brainstorm a story board, write a script as well as a group literature review. We divided up the work between the group members and wrote our sections of the paper. Then one person proofread and made sure that the literature review came together cohesively. We were determined to reach our end goal of receiving a good grade on the project, but we also accomplished submitting this project to the Ohio Communication Association conference that is taking place this year.

After reading about Project Aristotle, I will definitely take the attributes of good group dynamics into consideration when I am faced with a group challenge. I feel that is in necessary for the group to work together as one rather than several separate beings. I feel that the findings from Project Aristotle will help many companies in the future when they are faced with group work challenges.

References:

Duhigg, C. (2016, February 25). What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?_r=1

Mohdin, A. (2016, February 26). After years of intensive analysis, Google discovers the key to good teamwork is being nice. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://qz.com/625870/after-years-of-intensive-analysis-google-discovers-the-key-to-good-teamwork-is-being-nice/

Schlossberg, M. (2016, February 27). Google experiment reveals the single most important quality for teamwork. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from Business Insider website:  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-reveals-how-to-have-the-perfect-team-2016-2

Holacracy- a help or a hinderance for Zappos?

by Natalie Antonio

realorgchart
Holacracy according to Zappos

Holacracy can be defined as, “ a governance structure characterized by a distribution of power among self-organizing groups, rather than the top-down authority in the typical hierarchical corporate culture model” (whatis.com, 2015). Some companies in the past have chose to use the typical employment hierarchy where the boss is at the top and the employees are underneath of the boss, doing whatever he or she says. More and more companies are using a new form of management, that Google has some what made famous. At the Google headquarters they are known for having some pretty special amenities for their employees, such as nap pods, smart cars, and prototypes of their latest technology. Google’s goal in this was to spark the productivity in the employees. Other companies have started to look into this way of management as well. Holacracy was founded by Brian Robertson, in 2001 when he founded his very own software company, called Ternary Software. This was a company that became a place for experiments to be designed that answered questions. This company shifted in 2007 from Ternary to HolacracyOne which was formed by Robertson and Tom Thomison to make it more marketable to other companies. 

The idea of holacracy at Zappos was developed in 2013, when Tony Hsieh, Zappos’s CEO. The system rids the company of higher management, and the system asks employees to design strategy decisions and their outcomes on a “web based app called Glass Frog.” What Zappos did not expect from this use of holacracy was confusion. The process of self governing came with the idea of workers not being sure how to tell if actual work was being accomplished.

Zappos, an online shoe store, has always had some kind of unconventional human-resource philosophy, the company has an offer called “The Offer” to new recruits. This allows those people an opportunity to accept a $2,000 stipend instead of starting the job. The company excels on the attentiveness of the customer service as well as the devotion to it’s workers. “The Offer” is the company’s way of weeding out the ones who are not ready to participate in the company’s work ethic. This has been an unusual turn to the management that the employees were accustom to. According to The Atlantic, this may have lead to the company’s “exodus” because about 18% of the company’s staff has left, to take buy outs in other businesses. many of the employees chose to leave because they did not want the responsibility or because they disliked the idea of holacracy. According to Forbes, holacracy has some flaws, because there is not one clear boss someone has to step up and be the leader, therefore making that person in charge for that specific project. Forbes also states that holacracy does have a hierarchy, but without the implication that it is run by bosses and negativity.

In conclusion from the various articles that I have read, I have gotten a good grip on what holacracy is, and how it may or may not work. In a company that is as large as Zappos, I do not think that holacracy is a good idea because I feel there needs to be one clear boss, that person does not have to be nasty or think that he or she is father up than the other employees. I feel that there needs to be one clear boss to accomplish the work that needs to be done. Because if no one steps up, or if the employees are feeling particularly introverted, then those employees may not be able to step up and accomplish the work that is in front of them. I think that in certain settings that holacracy can be a good thing, but too much of a good thing can never be good. 

References:

Holacracy and Self-Organization. (2016). Retrieved September 22,2016,from https://www.zapposinsights.com/about/

               holacracy

Holacracy backstory. (2016). Retrieved September 22,2016, from http://www.holacracy.org/backstory

Lam, B. (2016, January 5). Why Are So Many Zappos Employees Leaving? Retrieved September 22, 2016,

             from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/01/zappos-holacracy-hierarchy/424173/

Denning, S. (2015, May 23). Is Holacracy Succeeding At Zappos? Retrieved September22, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/

                    sites/stevedenning/2015/05/23/is-holacracy-succeeding-at-zappos/#186fe32f40bb

Natalie Antonio- StrengthsFinder Analysis

by Natalie Antonio

The StrengthsFinder Analysis was interesting to complete. I have taken other assessments before such as the Myers Briggs assessment and found it to be an extremely useful tool to analyzing what type of leader that I can become or what style of leadership I respond best to. The StrengthsFinder analysis was much more in depth than the Myers Briggs assessment. Taking the StrengthsFinder assessment was also useful in determining my top 5 strengths. These strengths included, input, learner, intellection, relator, and achiever. I found most of these to be very true for my type of leadership and the type of leadership that I like to be lead under. The StrengthFinder analysis helped me establish the ground work for discovery into how I can better myself in my classes and everyday life. These 5 strengths can assist how I go about accomplishing projects.

Input:

The first strength on the list was input. The strength of input says: that I am inquisitive, I like to collect things, even collect information, Input says that I collect things because they are interesting and worth keeping. Input says that my mind finds many things interesting. It says that the world is the most exciting because of the variety and complexity. It says that if I read a lot that I do not read to “refine” my skills but to add more information to my brain.When I travel it says that I like to collect new artifacts and facts. Because these can be stored away and brought out at a later date. The input also said that I could not feel comfortable throwing ideas out when it could possibly be useful at a later date.

When I listened to the input video and read the information on input, I agreed with what is said almost 100%, The qualities listed for input are being inquisitive, collecting things and keeping my mind fresh. I enjoy collecting things such as pressed pennies, and pins. I enjoy finding the pressed penny machines whenever I visit a new city and acquiring new pins to commemorate a trip that I’ve taken with friends and family that I love. The input can sometimes be a help to me, but it can also be a hinderance, because I am fairly introverted and I have a lot of ideas but do not always feel comfortable sharing them for fear that they may be wrong or not the right ideas. The input can be a help to me as a student and a leader by collecting things as they happen to hopefully remember them at a later date.

Learner:

The second strength on the list was the learner strength. The first quality listed for this strength is that I love to learn. The subject that is the most interesting can be determined by other themes and experiences. I will always be drawn to the process of learning, more than content or the end result. StrengthsFinder says that a learner is always energized by a steady journey from ignorance to competence. the excitement leads me to engaging in adult learning activities. this enables me to thrive in work environments that ask me to take on short assignments and actually learn from them. The learning outcome is not to become the subject that is being learned but to become respected within the subject matter. The outcome of the learning experience is not as significant as the process of getting there.

This strength I do agree with also, I am always interested in trying to better myself. I think this comes from a life of living with a teacher for a mother. My mom had always read to me, encouraged me to take classes to better myself even if they were out side of my major or something that I was interested in. I have also been taking horse-back riding lessons since I was 5 years old, and I am constantly trying to better myself by learning how to train my horse. I love to show my horse, but I love the time that I have spent getting my horse prepared to go to the show, and putting in the effort to make sure we are working together as a team before we step foot in the show pen. One of my favorite quotes has always been “the will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare.” I believe this quote goes right along with the learner strength. I have picked up many hobbies as an adult that I did not participate in when I was a child. I joined the Ashland University Women’s Chorus (AUWC)  when I was a sophomore in college, I had never even thought about joining choir until I had taken Music 150, Principles of Music Making. The professor who taught this class, was also the director for AUWC at the time. She encouraged me to audition for women’s chorus at the end of the semester. I am constantly learning in women’s chorus, where I have learned so much that I am currently reside as the co-president. I enjoy learning the ins and outs of being in chorus and learning how to work as a team towards a common goal. Another hobby that I picked up as an adult is leather working. I enjoy tooling leather projects, this started when my poppa gave me his old leather working set. I started to read the books that came with it and started stamping things out, one of my favorite projects to tool are saddle crosses, for my friends.

Intellection

The third strength that was listed was intellection. By having intellection listed as a strength this means that I like to think, I like mental activity, I enjoy exercising my brain. Intellection tells us that I may need mental activity to be focused on one thing at a time. I am in tune to how others feel, or to solve a problem or develop an idea. On the other end of the spectrum this mental activity may lack focus on those activities. Intellection does not dictate what I could be thinking about at any given time, it just means that I like to think. People who have the intellection strength, enjoy spending time alone because he or she can use that time for refection and thinking. A person can also be introspective, I am my own best companion, I ask myself questions and try to see how the task will end. The down side to the intellection can lead the person to becoming slightly discontent, as that person compares what he or she is actually doing with the thoughts and ideas that the mind comes up with. This may lead the person to become more pragmatic with matters as the day wears on.

This strength I agreed with very much. I do tend to think a lot about too many things, my mind can be constantly humming from the minute that I wake up in the morning until I fall asleep at night. I am constantly thinking of what I need to be doing, or what needs to be done, or accomplished. This strength also ties in with a later strength that will be described further down. I do enjoy time to myself to think and reflect on my day either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. At the beginning of the day it is usually what I need to accomplish that day, or at the end of the day, what I have done during that day that will influence tomorrow. Having intellection as a strength also means that I enjoy my time alone. This can also have a downside for me as I tend to over think things and tend to isolate myself until my tasks are accomplished.

Realtor

The fourth strength from the assessment was the strength of realtor. This can describe an attitude toward relationships. Which basically means that the realtor strength is drawn to people who they already know. Not that this person is shy, but that person does greatly enjoy spending time with close friends and family. This person is often comfortable with intimacy, once the initial connection has been made this person tends to develop a deepening within the relationship. The realtor wants to understand other people’s feelings, goals, fears and dreams. Being this close to people can put the person at risk that they might be taken advantage of, but that person is willing to accept that risk. A relationship can only have value when it is genuine.

This strength shocked me, I thought it would be higher up on the list. I do tend to have a few very close relationships, but not many acquaintances. This does open me up to a fair amount of being hurt by these relationships, but I tend to get to know someone before I judge them or let them hurt me. I was not very good friends with my roommate last fall, until we went on a Disney vacation together. We were sorority sisters and acquaintances through a mutual friend. During this trip we let our freak flags fly, got comfortable with each other and got so much closer by the time the trip was over. Looking back there is not a time in my life that I can’t remember without her being right there. She is one of my best friends and biggest supporters.

Achiever:

The fifth and final strength is the achiever. Having the achiever describes a need for achievement. That every day starts at zero and that things need to be accomplished by the end of the day. This means every single day, even on weekends and holidays. If the day passes without some form of achievement the achiever feels as if the day is a waste. The achiever has to live to learn with some sliver of discontent. The energy keeps the person up for hours without burning out. This theme keeps the person moving through out the day

This strength also surprised me, but after re-reading each of the blurbs about the strengths it made more sense to me. The achiever and the intellection strength kind of go hand in hand. The achiever keeps the intellection going, gives her the strength to keep going. This can be considered some what of a bad thing because with my mind constantly moving with the intellection, and the energy from the achiever, it can make things very loud in my mind, and unable for me to “turn things off” when need be. I am very motivated to accomplish things that are put in front of me. I enjoy achieving things that I have worked so hard to accomplish. A good example of this is when I achieved my first blue ribbon with my first horse. I had owned her for 2 years, and had shown at multiple different shows. One night at a Tuesday night horse show, with six other competitors in my class, I finally heard my name called for first place. I almost cried tears of joy, because I had worked so       hard wiNatalie Antonio- blue ribbonth my horse, and we were rewarded for our achievement.

In conclusion, these five strengths, input, learner, intellection, relator, and achiever, all tie together to make me who I am. More importantly they make me want to learn how I can utilize them in my organizations to become more effective. I think that organizations that relate to helping people would most likely benefit from these strengths.

Natalie M. Antonio

Picture of Natalie AntonioNatalie M. Antonio is a senior this year at Ashland University, where she is majoring in Health and Risk Communication with a minor in Ethics. She is involved on campus with Women’s Chorus, where she is the co-president as well as involved with  AU G.I.V.S. Natalie is also an alumna of Alpha Phi sorority. Natalie has previously worked at Emeritus at Camelot Place, a senior assisted living community, where she was a nursing assistant during her junior year of high school through her freshman year of college. This job required Natalie to think on her feet, to problem solve and respect the dignity of the residents. Currently Natalie works at Valley Tack Shop, where she sells horseback riding supplies, clothing and miscellaneous horse supplies. Natalie has been with Valley Tack Shop since the summer of her freshman year. This job has helped Natalie prepare for the future by learning team work ethic. Natalie hopes to continue working at Valley Tack after she graduates college, to support her horse habit.

An accomplishment that Natalie is extremely proud of is becoming a 4-H advisor for her 4-H club, Sharon Flying Horse and Pony. After 3 years as an active member, Natalie graduated the program when she was 18 years old, with multiple awards, from attendance awards to fundraising awards. Natalie decided to step up, give back to the club and become an advisor. To become an advisor Natalie has to undergo an FBI background check, fingerprinting, and attend multiple trainings per year to keep up her certification. Being an advisor has opened up many networking opportunities for Natalie, has made Natalie think like a leader, and  included ways to implement her communication skills she learns in the classroom at AU.

Natalie’s goals for her future career is to one day work for the Red Cross or the Peace Corps. She would love to work as a crisis manager and assist those in need after a major crisis. Natalie would also like to travel as she graduates college. Natalie has always had a knack for helping people, could see herself assisting people in their time of desperate need and hopes to tie her love of traveling into her dream jobs.

In her free time Natalie likes to ride and show her horse, Mischief Managed, or Jack as he is known around the barn. She also likes to spend time with her dog, Buster, and her family and friends.