This series brings to you the most thought-provoking excerpts from my chat sessions with visionary personalities, as recorded for the Slingshot Living radio show. The conversations reveal valuable wisdom, playful anecdotes and useful advice on how to continuously overstep perceived boundaries for success in your business and your personal life.
This segment features an excerpt from my inspirational chat with Jonathan Hornby, Director of Worldwide Marketing for Performance Management at SAS.
Gabor: You are one of the movers and shakers within a company [SAS] that is very unconventional and is recognized—even by Forbes—as one of the best places to work in the entire US. When you have a culture of innovation and unconventional thinking how is it that you push yourself and the culture to be even more unconventional?
Jonathan: It’s very exciting for me because you can do virtually anything you want to do and it all starts with thinking about how can we help our customers be more successful. There are no other limits. In fact the biggest limits I find is people’s own comfort zones. Everything around the way that SAS has been organized and built has been to remove stress, to remove burdens and provide more time for our employees to think about their work. So I’ll give you an example. One of the reasons why we get put on the Forbes list is because of all the benefits we give our staff. So we have an Olympic-size swimming pool, we have our own doctors and nurses, we have artwork on every single wall. Every employee here on the SAS campus in Cary, North Carolina—there’s 5,000 of us—has their own office. All so that people can concentrate on helping our customers be the best they can be without distractions, without worries. We even have daycare and schools on campus for our children as well so that we don’t have to be too far away from them. And all of that means that we save millions in productivity every year. Thinking about it, the thing that gets me really excited is—because we are private, because we don’t have to bow down to Wall Street—we can look at long term success and we can lay a stake in that and go and explore it and just do it the right way the first time around. That for me is empowering. It means I can explore things—which perhaps people haven’t thought about yet—and we can help build towards and get involved in those solutions.
I invite you to listen to the entire chat with Jonathan and my co-host, Jesse Dylan, here.