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Corporate Culture, the “Culture of Us”

Here’s food for thought . . . Disneyland is no “Mickey Mouse operation.”

This week, I have the opportunity to take my wife and two young daughters to Disneyland; the happiest place on earth; the house that Mickey built.

Yes, I am actually looking forward to it.

Primarily, I don’t mind enduring the crowds in the park or the congestion driving from San José to L.A., because it’s quality time with our eight-year old Jessica and four-year old Siena.

I also look forward to it because – as a CEO – I remain incredibly impressed with the customer service of “Team Disney.” from the folks at the hotel, the restaurants in the park, the people who run the rides and those who provide the entertainment, the overarching theme is an ownership culture.  These are employees who believe in their company, because they own it.

The best Silicon Valley companies contain this culture.  It is what I call a “Culture of us,” rather than “Us versus them.”

It is a corporate culture based on each individual player knowing the importance of their specific contribution, yet also never losing sight about how their role fits into the bigger picture of success.

I see this culture permeate Silicon Valley’s best high-tech, med-tech and green-tech companies. I also see it outside of tech, in great airlines like Virgin America, ANA and Southwest.  I see it in construction companies like Webcor Builders, Suffolk Construction and Turner Construction. I see it in my own team at the Silicon Valley leadership group.

It’s the essential element that separates a good company from a great company.  It is like the pride of ownership we each feel when we purchase a home. It’s ours. It’s not a rental. It’s not temporary.  We own it.  And with pride, we invest in its success.

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