Velocity Session on Creating Cultural Change

Creating Cultural Change

John Rauser (Amazon)
8:35am Thursday, 06/24/2010
Keynotes, Web Performance Ballroom ABCD
I present four case studies of cultural change, from a campaign at my office to get people to fill the coffee pot after taking the last cup, to an award winning advertising campaign.

John has been extracting value from large datasets for 15 years at companies ranging from hedge funds and small data-driven startups to retailing giant He has deep experience in the areas of personalization, business intelligence, website performance and real-time fault analysis. An empiricist at heart, John’s optimism and can-do attitude make “Just do the experiment!” his favorite call to arms.

Notes on the Sessions

He talked about the struggle and challenges between performance and operations. He pulled-out a picture about fairy tales and unicorn. Talked about a dedicated performance team as a possible adversarial issue. He’s suggesting that we integrate performance into operations. Amazon actually has a performance team, but they try real hard to put them out of business so that they are integrated with the other teams.

How do you create cultural change?

He talked about an example at Amazon. Brought up “free riders”. The example was his coffee pot that was always left empty.

  • Complaining
  • Shaming
  • Humor
    • His friend’s solution wasn’t about technology, but rather he changed people’s perception.
    • Interesting idea…makes me think about the challenges we have with blogging. Maybe we should take a humor approach.

Another model for creating change…

What to do?

  • Try something new
  • Create a group identity (virtual team…get them to meet once a month…hand-out t-shirts or something)
    • Interesting idea is for us to have our own identity…(remember how we wanted lab coats back in the day?)
  • Be relentless

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