1088508-p-DETAILED.jpgAs I continue to read through the Delivering Happiness book from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, I’ve come to the introduction and discussion of the Zappos Culture Book. If you are a fan of Zappos you have probably already heard about this famous book. The idea for it came when Tony and others at the company wanted to improve the chances that any new employees hired would fit in with the company culture. To Tony, company culture at this point had become the number one focus of the company. They not only wanted to be sure new employees fit in at work, but also that they were a fit personally with everyone. They wanted a manual to hand out that discussed the company culture, and then decided the best way to do that was to ask the current employees to write it themselves.

They invited all employees to submit 100 to 500 words describing what the Zappos culture means to them. They committed to using everyone’s contribution, unedited, even if it was a complaint. Management learned a lot from the book, and it is now published yearly and made available not only to prospective employees, but also to vendors, and even customers. In fact you can request a free copy of it, as I did over the weekend, by sending an email to [email protected]

This middle section of the book, ‘Profits and Passion’, goes into a lot of detail on what that culture was, how they established it and why. Tony believes that in the end, the only competitive edge Zappos has over anyone is: Brand, Culture, and Pipeline. Everything else can be copied. The section goes on to give some great tips on creating culture in your company.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post or either of the other two Delivering Happiness posts (Discovering Happiness or Now This is Real Passion) in order to have a chance to win a free copy of the book.