This past month I attended a ConnectedCommons webinar on Patagonia’s culture of collaboration.

Here are some thoughts on the key points Chris Mason brought up - recruit based on mission-match, democratize (!), and use HR tools that serve the employees

Would love to keep the discussion open :)

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  • Thanks Michal, I really appreciate you posting this and sharing here, particularly during school holidays in Israel, and please do pass my appreciation to your kids.

    I also caught the webinar and agree it was a great session, and that Patagonia is obviously a very special, and social, company.

    I also agree that democracy is major aspect of what makes them special and that this should definitely be seen as a key way of developing social capital.

    At the same time, I think there are a number of other lessons from their experience which can be adopted by more normal firms, eg:

    -   The use of networks (Patagonia’s committees for deciding policies on use of bikes and skateboards etc) which can be used on top of existing organisational units (functions/hierarchies and networks rather than just from one to the other)

    -   The alignment of HR and other processes and practices with their chosen form of organisation, eg Chris talked about choosing a performance feedback tool (HighGround) which aligned with their desire to put the employee in charge of their own performance


    It’s interesting to see that HighGround also positions itself as a tool for supporting social capital: https://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/why-hr-leaders-should-think-like-economists-and-promote-social-capital.

    I'd definitely encourage other members to read your notes on the session, and would love to see more views here too.

    By the way I’ll be presenting on Connected Common’s next webinar on 24 October and will be speaking more specifically about social capital as well as mentioning this community. I hope you and other members will be able to join me online then!

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