The 7 Values That Drive IDEO

January 21, 2014

Clients often ask me how we built IDEO's creative culture. For 20 years, I did a lot of hand-waving and gave vague answers. Then, about a year ago, we decided we really should put our values in writing. The result was a slim hardcover called The Little Book of IDEO.

In it, we distilled what makes our workplace tick into 7 human-centered axioms. From “Be Optimistic” to “Talk Less, Do More,” they’re the ties that bind us as a culture.

I spell out all 7 values in the slideshow below, which also lives on SlideShare’s #CultureCode blog, alongside other inspiring companies like Netflix, Zappos, and Fab. Read more about our value system on LinkedIn here and here.

If you’re left wanting a longer peek behind the IDEO curtain, our friends at the Harvard Business Review just published the results of a few months of in-the-field research in an article called “IDEO’s Culture of Helping.” The authors Teresa Amabile, Colin M. Fisher, and Julianna Pillemer clearly took one of our values—“Make Others Successful”—to heart by sharing with the world and, for that, we're very thankful.

What workplace values inspire you?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)