Interview with LUV airlines’ CEO. Culture of LUV @southwestair True story!

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly Talks Company Culture, Promises Improvements

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED AND CONDENSED BY JEFF BAILEY

Though you’re based in Dallas, we’re making you an honorary Chicago CEO because Southwest operates more than 200 flights daily from Midway Airport, and its fares over the years have often forced United and American to hold down theirs at O’Hare to compete. So welcome—and what’s up with those not-so-great on-time results out of Midway? Southwest’s overall stats in the fourth quarter kind of sucked.
We’re not satisfied. In 2009, we were number one [in on-time performance]. Chicago has taken a bit of a hit. Weather. Record load factors [i.e., crowded planes]. We’ve been holding flights for connecting passengers. It will improve.

I fly Southwest a fair amount, and my only real gripe is getting through security at Midway. Southwest has an 87 percent market share there. Anything in the works to ease the bottleneck?
Admittedly, we have some work to do. We have to work with the Transportation Security Administration. It’s a function of being popular.

Your acquisition of AirTran Airways is pending. Will that do anything for Chicagoans?
More Midway destinations. Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Reagan in particular.

What about La Guardia? You have a few flights to and from there, but the suits with BlackBerrys want hourly service. AirTran has many more La Guardia slots than Southwest. Any chance you’d use them to go head to head with American and United, Chicago to New York?
I wouldn’t discount that idea. If the demand is there and we can get the slots, absolutely we’d look at that.

Southwest doesn’t charge for checked bags. Other guys do, earning hundreds of millions in fees. Besides goodwill, what do you gain?
We’re getting business! I’m happy for them to take the fees; we’ll take the customers. We’re gaining market share.

The wonderfully simple Southwest frequent-flier plan, one even a journalist could understand—16 one-way flights equal one free roundtrip award—is kaput in favor of one based on points and flight distance and . . . ah, geez, my head is spinning. Can we go back to the old system?
If we do, that will take away from you. What we’ve got is a much-improved customer benefit. It will reward you for the money you spend with us. The old one [all one-way flights, regardless of length, were treated equally] never did, though it was simple. We’re trying to be responsive to the complaints we had. Now no flights are blocked out.

The happiness factor seems intact among your employees, even though the company is not growing so rapidly and nobody is getting rich on the stock. Are you running on goodwill fumes, or is something else sustaining it in an industry that’s mostly grumpy these days?
Oh, no, it’s not fumes. I would argue our culture is stronger than ever. Battle hardened. Our employees’ situation, in terms of benefits and compensation [compared with airlines that went through bankruptcy], is better than it’s ever been. But there’s more: This is a place where human relationships matter. We are in good spirits.

This article appears in the May 2011 issue of Chicago Magazine

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Redesigning: Cubicles. BY: RACHEL Z. ARNDT – FAST COMPANY

Let’s upgrade the corporate killjoy.

“IT JUST SUCKED the life force out of my body,” says Scott Adams of his old cubicle at Pacific Bell. Luckily for him, that ennui inspired the megahit Dilbert comic strip. But for the rest of America’s 40 million cube dwellers, there’s little to love about the walled-in work space, whose average size has plummeted to just 75 square feet. Big-name design firms such as Knoll and Herman Miller are already working to modernize the ’60s classic, adding features that emphasize comfort and collaboration. So we tapped their top minds — and chose a few of our own — to imagine a better one. After all, says James Ludwig, head of design at Steelcase, “my work space should reflect the way I work.”

Plant life
Those who work near plants — and, by proxy, fresh oxygen — are more productive than those who don’t, according to recent data from Washington State University. To that end, IDSA — award-winning student designers Jinsun Park and Seonkeun Park envision a cube wall with a built-in irrigation system[1], so flora can thrive without much attention.

Foldout chair
As cubicles shrink, companies like Intel are tossing out extra chairs, which inhibits collaboration. To save space — and sanity — Adams suggests adding a foldout seat [2]. As soon as it’s down, he says, “a timer starts that makes your phone ring after a few minutes, so you can excuse an unwelcome guest.”

Shorter walls
Shorter walls [3] make it easier to interact with colleagues, reflecting the fact that “people don’t go and hide in the cubicle like they used to,” says Lisa Bottom, a principal at the architecture and design firm Gensler. They also allow for more natural light, which cuts energy costs.

Noise-canceling speakers
“On days when coworkers are shouting ideas across the floor, I definitely long for an office,” says Heidi Overbeck, a cube dweller at the communications firm Fenton. To create quiet, these low-profile speakers [4]automatically detect bothersome noise and emit sound waves that cancel it out.

Adjustable desk
At the touch of a button, the desk gets taller or shorter [5] to accommodate different employee heights and those who’d rather work standing up. “That saves us money,” says Neil Tunmore, director of corporate services at Intel, where similar desks eliminate “the need to have people coming in and adjusting.”

Media screen
Even in small spaces, “it’s important to be able to interact around data and information,” says Ludwig. One solution: a multipurpose media screen [6] that can connect to several laptops at once. During downtime, says Adams, it could display “a webcam of the beach, so I can feel like I’m on vacation.”

Webcam lighting
To streamline digital meetings, this switch [7]instantly adjusts cubicle lighting to offset the brightness of the computer screen. That way, during Skype or WebEx calls, “I won’t look like I’ve been out partying all night,” says Ludwig.

Privacy shield
Overhead screens [8]offer “a sense of personal space” without returning to the high, stifling walls of a traditional cube, says Mark Schurman of Herman Miller, which makes a similar product. They’re also instrumental in blocking sunlight that causes glare on computer screens.

[Illustration by Jason Lee]

A version of this article appears in the July/August 2011 issue of Fast Company.

 

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Netflix CEO’s Presentation on Culture of Netflix

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The power of internal brand & strong culture: Shangri-La Inside out campaign

Press PR | Shangri_La_Hotels_Inside_Out_Video | Ogilvy & Mather.

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Gulp. The world’s largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8

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Song for revolutionaries: Tomorrow is a BETTER day!

 

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A bright outlook on how online games can change the world!

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