Who: Courtney Dickinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Company: Sapient, http://www.sapient.com
Has Held Title: For 2 years
Previous Job: School Teacher
Degree: BA, Studio Art and Education
After six years of more than 100% annual growth, Sapient Corp., a $44 million systems integrator based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has learned there's nothing more important than mastering the basics. Who better to teach the business equivalent of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic than an elementary school teacher? Meet Sapient's Culture Team Leader, Courtney Dickinson.
What's a "Culture Team"?
One thing we're not is "human resources" — we're not about company processes or filling out expense reports. The Culture Team is about helping new hires succeed faster. If you can get people up to speed quickly, you'll have more valuable people — and you'll foster growth.
And the key to Sapient's culture?
A powerful sense of ownership — all 500 employees are stockholders. And that translates into a focus on change.
How do you sustain that culture?
It's all about core values. We use a compass to represent them. Client-focused delivery is at the center; client relationships are the North Star; and pioneering, growth, and openness are on the east, west, and south.
What's your greatest challenge?
People think they have all the answers and that "culture" is ridiculous. The challenge is to get them to try something new.
A version of this article appeared in the June/July 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.