Of interest: The “Rules of the Garage” and our core values

We often discuss how leading companies strive to improve customer satisfaction and measurement, which included a look at HP. Recently, one of my friends referred to HP’s “Rules of the Garage” which were widely promoted by HP back in the late ’90s. Here they are for your reference, as I have them archived from a past email:

  1. Believe you can change the world.
  2. Work quickly, keep the tools unlocked, work whenever.
  3. Know when to work alone and when to work together.
  4. Share — tools, ideas. Trust your colleagues.
  5. No politics. No bureaucracy. (These are ridiculous in a garage.)
  6. The customer defines a job well done.
  7. Radical ideas are not bad ideas.
  8. Invent different ways of working.
  9. Make a contribution every day. If it doesn’t contribute, it doesn’t leave the garage.
  10. Believe that together we can do anything.

At Microsoft, the core values of the company include broad customer connection, a global inclusive approach, excellence, trustworthy computing, great people with great values, innovative and responsible platform leadership and finally, enabling people to do new things.

Reminds me of some of the articles I’ve read by Robert Fulghum, author of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Basic things, really:

“All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I (we) learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile in Elementary School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and 
paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold 
hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup — they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first 
word you learned — the biggest word of all — LOOK.”

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