The Lead: Traeger CEO’s Cultural Overhaul, Uber to Ban Riders with Low Rating, Changing the Rules on Everest

Traeger CEO’s Culture Overhaul

When Jeremy Andrus became the outdoor cooking company Traeger’s eighth CEO in the span of eight years, he quickly learned that if he and Traeger were to succeed, he would need to overhaul its toxic culture. A dramatic move was needed for Traeger’s culture to shift, and Andrus made it a literal one, shifting the company’s headquarters from Oregon to Utah. He said “I recognized that the decision resulted from the near-impossibility of transforming a legacy culture in which negative attitudes were so deeply ingrained. One of the advantages of starting a company from scratch is that you can build the culture from scratch too. Even though this company had been around for three decades, by relocating to Utah we’d be doing a complete reset.”

Our View: To build a company, project, or team from scratch, people need to develop their own leadership skills. Developing leadership skills can begin with something as straightforward as listening. When leaders are good listeners they understand more about the people they work with, and they appreciate others’ concerns and ideas and incorporate them into their plans and objectives. Further Reading

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Uber to Ban Riders with Low Ratings

Beginning in the U.S. and Canada, Uber plans to enforce a new policy that bans riders with low ratings from using Uber to catch a ride. When the shift occurs, riders will see a screen on the app that explains community guidelines and then requests confirmation of their understanding of the new terms. Uber’s head of Safety Brand and Initiatives Kate Parker expects the new policy to impact only a small number of riders.

Our View: Thoughtful leaders steer away from blanket statements like “the customer is always right.” Businesses have limited resources, and more importantly, businesses don’t want every customer. Bad customers aren’t good for long-term business. Support your employees and foster a great relationship between them and management by not giving power to offensive customers. Further Reading

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Changing the Rules on Everest

The rules to climb Mount Everest may be changing soon since there have been many traffic jams of people and more deaths on the world’s highest mountain. Currently, inexperienced climbers find few barriers to obtain a permit to climb Mount Everest. Nepali officials have admitted they did not have a way of verifying climbers’ health information before granting them permits.

Safety mountaineering experts have recommended that Nepal should mandate that anyone wanting to climb Everest, which is 8,848 meters, show proof of having climbed at least one other 8,000-meter peak. This rule could even increase the amount of money brought to Nepal, as the country has several other peaks that high where climbers could work their way up to Everest.

Our View: If your organization’s rules aren’t enforceable, it is up to you to change them. A high level of trust between all of your stakeholders is key for employee satisfaction and performance, and trust is built upon mutual expectations of loyalty, dedication, and high performance. Create rules that promote a culture of trust and are fair and enforceable by seeking expert advice. Further Reading

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Google Glass Gets a New Name

The new and improved Google Glass is now called Google Lens, and it has more user-friendly features, including new dining and translation filters. These features will help businesses and individual users. It could help your salespeople translate foreign languages with ease and convenience and maximize the customer experience for restaurant ordering. Users will be able to point their phone at a menu and Google Lens will be able to highlight the most popular dishes and bring up more food information and pictures.

Our View: Though sometimes overlooked as a customer experience influencer, a company’s leadership development impacts employee engagement and customer experience. While CEOs are important leaders of customer experience and culture, the underlying leadership development strategy as a sub-category of the company’s overall business strategy transcends a CEO’s term and is a main driver of the customer’s journey online and in-store. Further Reading

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Pokémon as a Sleep Aid

The sleep aid market is expected to reach $76.7 billion this year, and Pokémon Go is jumping into the mix. According to the CDC, one third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and five million people still play Pokémon Go every day. A mobile app from The Pokémon Company called Pokémon Sleep will make a player’s time spent sleeping, and the time they wake up, effect the gameplay with the hopes of being an effective sleep aid.

Our View: Turning sleep into entertainment is one example of gamification, and gamification in the workplace can improve everything from employee engagement to leadership development. The systems integration company NTT DATA and the consulting firm Deloitte are using gamification to both engage leaders in training and have them experience what it means to be a leader. Further Reading

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