Culture is the Strategy by Tom Fuller, Co-founder of Next Jump
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Culture is the Strategy by Tom Fuller, Co-founder of Next Jump



Originally presented at NJ Startups Inaugural Event on January 23rd, 2014. Tom went over Next Jump's complete focus on culture and the implications this had for their company. Tom talked about ...

Originally presented at NJ Startups Inaugural Event on January 23rd, 2014. Tom went over Next Jump's complete focus on culture and the implications this had for their company. Tom talked about recruitment, onboarding and how they brought what was once a 40% turnover rate to 0%, people no longer leave the company.



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  • Having kids made me realize how important work was for meFORTUNE: We make our own luck by the choices we makeHARD WORK: Nothing in life is free, we have to do the hard workTRUE WEALTH: Take care of myself so that I can take care of others
  • Here is the lesson I learnedTrust takes time but it’s everythingWhat it means to me to come in 10, leave 5:45Spend more time in the morning w/ my kids, there to put them to bed every night and Friday’s off to take care of myselfWhat I want all young women starting out in their careers to understand that you need to:build trust w/ people, b/c if keep moving jobs won’t work, this takes time. you need to train your judgment.You need to kill it, so that the day you need a favor the response is “whatever you need”.
  • Wasn’t easy till working on it hard, but results been amazing so farWon award moving to turn everyone into a leaderAward for the culture we built

Culture is the Strategy by Tom Fuller, Co-founder of Next Jump Presentation Transcript

  • 1. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike T
  • 2. CULTURE IS THE STRATEGY business is building better people January 23, 2013 @Thom_Fuller
  • 3. HUMAN CAPITAL ECONOMY your enterprise needs to make people better AGRICULTURE ECONOMY MANUFACTURING ECONOMY HUMAN CAPITAL ECONOMY People are another form of machine Capital & infrastructure focus People focus CONFORMITY DIVERSITY All people to be the same Treat people like machines Diversity of thought In knowledge biz, conformity is death 3
  • 4. WHAT WE STAND FOR To do the LITTLE THINGS that allow others to do the GREAT THINGS they are MEANT TO DO BETTER me + BETTER you = BETTER us BETTER me + you = us 4
  • 5. EVERYTHING STARTS WITH YOUR CULTURE human capital engineering (HCE) 1 Hiring 2 Environment 3 Firing 5
  • 6. OUR STORY 1994 1997 NxJ Founded: College Coupon Books 2002 Survived Dot Com Bust: 4 NxJumpers 2006 2008 2011 TODAY HIRING ENGINEERS NxJ becomes top destination for engineers Corporate + Internet FIRING 2010 Turnover skyrockets to 40% as recruiters poach… Engineers are offered 2-3x salary increase within 1 yr of employment at NxJ + ENVIRONMENT = 2012 Turnover drops to 0% in weeks Revenue Growth Accelerates… 5 years 25% CAGR to 60% YoY ENVIRONMENT How do we grow even faster: Help people stop making the same mistakes [Character Imbalance] 6
  • 7. HIRING 1. College Recruiting 2. Lateral Hiring 7
  • 8. HIRING ENGINEERS: NxJ Tech Recruiting Stats 8
  • 9. COLLEGE RECRUITING many candidates at once, relevant at a later stage Boston Super Saturday Event Schedule Time Full-Time Engineer Schedule Intern Engineer Schedule 9:45 – 10:00 am Check-In / Breakfast (Reception & Fenway) 10:00 – 10:25 am Super Saturday Kick Off (Fenway) 10:25 – 11:10 am Engineering Skills Test (Assigned Candidate Areas) 11:15 – 12:15 pm Speaker Series 1 – Work Hard (Fenway) 12:25 – 1:25 pm Code Exercise (Assigned Candidate Areas) 1:25 – 2:10 pm Career Fair + Lunch (Reception Area) 2:15 – 2:45 pm Interview 1 (Assigned Candidate Areas) Speaker Series 2 – Play Hard (Fenway) 2:45- 3:15 pm Interview 2 (Assigned Candidate Areas) Break (Fenway) 3:15 – 3:45 pm Speaker Series 2 – Play Hard (Fenway) Interview 1 (Assigned Candidate Areas) 3:45 – 4:15 pm Break (Fenway) Interview 2 (Assigned Candidate Areas) 4:15 – 5:30 pm Team Challenge Kickoff & Exercise (Fenway, Assigned Areas) 5:30 – 6:00 pm Team Presentations (Assigned Areas) 6:00 – 6:30 pm Break (Fenway) 6:30 - 7:00 pm CEO Reception (Fenway) 9
  • 10. HIRING: BIGGEST MISTAKE, TOP LESSON LEARNED  LEAN = SUCCESS, FAT = FAILURE  LATERAL HIRING IS LIKE DATING  Startups w/ no resources achieve amazing things  Then w/ capital + lots of resources almost always fails  Same person interviews date 1, date 2, date 3 (advance only if)  Trust is most important: buy used car, leave your family with?  Human beings are the best judge of trust 10
  • 11. FIRING 11
  • 12. FIRING many mistakes made…leading to scathing criticism Worst place to work. Should be called next Lie. Extremely long hours – the reason Next Jump has trainer & food on premises is because they don’t expect you to go home. Wouldn’t wish this place on my worst enemy. If you want to grow & learn, go elsewhere. Save yourself, DO NOT be the Next to Jump Toxic, toxic environment. Backstabbing individuals that are not doing their own jobs. 12
  • 13. FIRING: BIGGEST MISTAKE, TOP LESSON LEARNED  EX-EMPLOYEE = #1 ADVERTISEMENT  TIMING: <3 MTHS, 3-6 MTHS  Existing employees are biased  Anyone else doesn’t really know the company  The ex-employee has been on the inside  How you fire is a representation of how you treat people  People leaving within 3 months = min disruption in the org  However biggest problems in people show up at 3-6 months  Any decision after 6 months = significant pain firing + lingering pain 13
  • 14. ENVIRONMENT 14
  • 15. ENVIRONMENT: 2 influencers helped us… Jim Loehr (Coach to world-class tennis, golf, NFL, NBA, Olympic athletes, top CEOs, FBI SWAT, any elite performer) BETTER me Growth mindset: People can endlessly upgrade themselves. Requires deliberate practice. Simon Sinek (all-time top TEDTalk, author of best seller, keynote speaker) BETTER you Humans exist to service other humans – the “universal why” + = 15
  • 16. EVERYTHING IS PRACTICE FOR GETTING BETTER BETTER me “I will want to win. But the result of the race will not motivate me. I can honestly say that I am motivated by improvement, not results. That’s a core principle.” Mikaela Shiffrin 16
  • 17. AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE…WHAT IS SUCCESS? BETTER you EXTRINSIC MARKERS OF SUCCESS INTRINSIC MARKERS OF SUCCESS more stuff true wealth R.I.P. R.I.P. [YOUR NAME] [YOUR NAME]  Built billion $ company  Made millions personally  Owns 3 houses  Owns 6 cars  More stuff… HELPING OTHERS.. 17
  • 18. MINDSET THAT WINS & SUSTAINS … BETTER me + BETTER you I DO IT FOR MYSELF… I train harder I take feedback differently I work hard to be my best self …So that I can take care of others 18
  • 19. HOW WILL THIS FAIL? 19
  • 20. #1 ISSUE: JUDGMENT (MORE THAN SKILLS) People need to trust your judgment Then its no longer about hours 2 hours of your time will be worth more than 40 hours of someone with poor judgment * We turned the entire company culture into training ground for leadership 20
  • 21. TWO PROGRAMS THAT WORKED … ❶ Mentorship: Talking Partners • Start daily • Becomes “co-working” • Best coaches help people find their “blind spot” (their repeated error) ❷ Situational Workshops • Weekly: problems + what they tried • Train decision making vs “give solutions” • Counters the “bull horn” effect 21
  • 22. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT the next big growth opportunity Jim Loehr (Coach to world-class tennis, golf, NFL, NBA, Olympic athletes, top CEOs, FBI SWAT, any elite performer) Character is a muscle. It can be exercised and strengthened. 22
  • 23. OUR RESULTS THUS FAR… REVENUE 25% CAGR over last 5 years to 103% YoY Still accelerating… LEADERSHIP AWARD 2013 Winner 23
  • 24. WHERE WE’RE EXPERIMENTING HIRING DO THE JOB BEFORE YOU START Test during interview process:  Growth mindset [better me] - fixed or growth mindset  Helping others [better you] - teaching/ giving motivates more learning ANYONE CAN BECOME A MARINE  No matter who you hire, the environment is designed so anyone can succeed  But not everyone will succeed, some will opt-out FIRING NO FIRING POLICY  Except for moral, ethical and criminal  Security - removed fear of failure  Development took off: Tough Love Programs ALUMNI PROGRAMS  Boomerang - open-ended job offer to return anytime  Benefits and perks for having been part of our family 24
  • 25. CLOSING THOUGHT INVEST IN YOUR TEAM AS MUCH AS IN YOUR PRODUCT FROM DAY 1 • It’s a shared dream • It’s about the journey: concentrate on the steps to success 25
  • 26. @Thom_Fuller Contact me: I will gladly do what I can, to help you achieve the GREAT things you were meant to do