What are your Culture’s “ISMs”? (Repost)

I love this concept by Quicken Loans CEO (and Cleveland Cavaliers owner) Dan Gilbert to put his company’s vision into a series of “ISMs.” Gilbert has outlined “ISMs” that refers to a strong principle or belief within the Quicken Loans culture and attached a catchy phrase (“We eat our own dog food” or “You have to take the roast out of the oven”) that relates to each philosophy. These 19 phrases are a set of values so powerful, it drives behavior and serves as a guide for everyone within the company. One article writes, “The leaders and team members at Quicken Loans live by these values, driving them deeply into the DNA of their company. They realize that their beliefs and values (their ISMs) drive unified performance.” I first heard about this concept from Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin’s interview on “The Vertical Podcast” when he spoke about how he has incorporated the “ISMs” into his front office department’s approach. In the article linked below, all of Quicken Loans’ “ISMs” are listed and you can click on each one for an explanation.

Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshipped.
Ideas are fundamental to who we are. We encourage them. We love them. But ideas alone don’t mean much. It takes both ideas AND execution to make things happen. Great ideas get you to the 50-yard line; outstanding execution gets you into the end zone.


For more on Quicken Loans culture/Gilbert’s “ISMs”
-Good quote from Gilbert on the ISMs, “When you first start in business you think ‘company culture’ is total BS – I’m just here to do good work and make some money, what’s with all this touchy feely stuff? But as things start to get bugger and more complicated and change faster, it gets harder and harder for everyone to stay on the same page. So instead of constantly explaining the same stuff to everyone, we’re writing it down.”
-24 business insights I’ve learned from Dan Gilbert (LINK)

For more on “ISMs”
-Quicken Loans’ “ISMs” concept is very similar to Zappos Family Core Values (LINK)
-Coach K did an exercise with the 2008 Olympic team where he asked them to come up with their own standards. Notes from his book “The Gold Standard” talk about the exercise (LINK)
-Tom Herman has used the concept of visible standards in turning around the Houston football program (LINK)

One Response to What are your Culture’s “ISMs”? (Repost)

  1. Daniel Shibley says:

    Reminds me of the “Training Philosophy” section of this video:

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