Ten years ago, one of Adobe System’s co-founders, Charles M. Geschke, noticed that the company had changed. It no longer ran according to the principles he’d envisioned.
Being nimble was a good thing for Adobe; after all, it’s a software company. But Geschke wanted a consistent set of business principles.
“As we got bigger and we had to confront tough things, we needed to make sure that everybody understood ... what that culture was about,” says Geschke, currently Adobe’s co-chairman.
He wrote a six-page memo on the culture he’d envisioned to show how the company was deviating. He touched on everything, from the mundane to the big-picture, urging employees to cull back meetings and coaching leaders on juggling Adobe’s constituencies.
The memo went to all employees, and then Geschke turned it into an indoctrination session for new employees.
--Adapted from “Driving Adobe: Co-founder Charles Geschke on Challenges, Change and Values,” Knowledge@Wharton.