HR Strange But True!
February 17, 2009

Workers at Jump Associates, LLC have access to a company-approved playlist that management hopes will help these “hybrid” employees “rev up, get their grove on, work their mojo, and find the flow.”

The list, available at , is eclectic, featuring Eric Clapton, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Harris, James Carter, Cheb Khaled, Natacha Atlas, Groove Collective, Stereo Lab, Immigrant Suns, Loop Guru, and Radiohead, among others.

The playlist is just one of the means to sustain “a culture of learning … where collaboration and creativity are rampant,” reports Jump Co-founder and CEO Dev Patrick in interview in the March 7, 2009 issue of BLR's newsletter Best Practices in HR.

Transfer of ideas and information at this San Mateo, California, strategy consulting firm is essential to its function. The companywide Monday morning meeting for associates, says Patrick, might take one-third to one-half of the time to address what's going on in the company, while the rest of the time is spent discussing books associates have read or things they have heard or seen during that week that they'd like to share.

The idea of sharing information is even carried over into the bathroom stalls at Jump, where the latest reading material, such as a great article from BusinessWeek or The Economist , is made available to keep associates aware of the latest business trends.

And every morning at Jump, which was named one of the Top Small Workplaces by Winning Workplaces and The Wall Street Journal, the day is started with employees participating in a “scrum,” defined by Patrick as a rugby term for a short scrimmage. The free-form, interactive 7-minute programs are part daily announcements, part yoga, and part improvisational theatre. The goal is to have associates “think like humanists, conceive of new stuff like anthropologists and make plans like capitalists,” Patrick says in the interview.

“We throw out ideas that may not be fully baked and finish each other's sentences. We can take four or five bright people and put them in a room and they will come up with better things [ideas, than any one person could alone],” he explains.

Associates take turns leading the scrums, resulting in totally supportive teams committed to helping and challenging each other to achieve their greatest potential, says Patrick, author of the new book, Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper when They Create Widespread Empathy.

TGIF - It's HR
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