I had the distinct pleasure of attending an Inc. Business Council event where the guest was Kip Tindell, founder of The Container Store. It was the launch of Kip’s book, “Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives.” This book documents how he built a retail business where his employees have good pay, job security, and training, demonstrating how doing good for his employees and customers make his company profitable. Conscious Capitalism is the ability to continuously delight customers, employees and shareholders alike, and because of that, companies will thrive.
Here are some of Kip’s Tips, or what he calls his Foundation Principles, that I will try to use in my business:
- 1 Great Person = 3 Good People. SM He is a believer in hiring great people. He doesn’t matter the industry they came from because he looks for people with talent and a passion for teaming up with others to get the job done. He pays his salespeople 50-100 percent higher than the average retail store because he appreciates the job that they do, and they are the closest to the customer. He is not a believer in commissioned sales because if people are paid at the right price point, they will be happy and work hard.
- Communication is Leadership. Kip wants every employee to know everything so he practices transparency. Every employee is expected to participate in consistent, reliable, effective and courteous communication – with each other as well as with the customer.
- Intuition Does Not Come to an Unprepared Mind. You Need to Train Before It Happens.SM Training is the key to a great organization. Kip gives all full time employees almost 300 hours of training in their first year vs. the retail industry’s average of 8 hours. Consistent training throughout their career keeps them at the top of their game. Because they receive maximum training, they each become experts on the customer and can easily speak to them and understand their needs.
Small business owners struggle every day with these tips because we are always looking to keep our costs down and payroll is usually a big portion of our costs. We know there is merit to what Kip is saying but putting these tips into practice will be the test of whether or not we will be able to grow our businesses utilizing Conscious Capitalism.