Switchback Creative

Method Culture Club Quirks

February 20, 2015 | Business Journey

By Suzy Rounce

No longer a start up, this book by the same name as the company has become a consistent book of reference and inspiration for me. The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down  by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry illustrates how hard work, a great idea and killer culture in any industry can go far. Even though they have recently sold their brand to the UK company Ecover, they did it with much consideration to matching up with a company that shared similar cultural values. Method and Ecover now represent the largest green cleaning company in the world. Before they sold they had grown themselves from nothing to a $100 million-company in 7 years.

If you aren’t familiar with their products a photo of their packaging should help. In the early days they worked with hip, industrial designers to create bottles that represented what they were about and how they wanted to stand out from their competition. Ryan and Lowry knew they could take marketshare from the existing product category that predictably screamed “CLEAN” and sterile but didn’t stand for anything more than that. Method wanted to change the world for the greater good.

Behind the scenes of Method’s growth is a great company culture. It happened organically at first, then after substantial growth they had to sit down to document why it worked. The ‘process’ part being a few of the following: create your own job title (instills ownership, a unique role and a bit of fun), homework assignments for possible new hires including “How will you personally ‘keep Method weird’?” (one of their core values). Rookie cookies, homemade treats to be brought in by new hires on their first day as a way for everyone to meet each other. The annual Method Prom, an excuse to dress up, collaborate and bond over something as magical and silly as prom (hopefully this time the dress or tux is a bit more stylish).

Method believes in making your office environment match your values. It’s an opportunity to create something truly unique.

Method believes in making your office environment match your values. It’s an opportunity to create something truly unique. Culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage to an organization and the only pure differentiator in a company that drives performance and that has significant results to the bottom line. Companies with admired corporate cultures have performed 600% times better on the TSX based on 2010 winners, three-year compound annual growth rates (according to Culture Connection by M. Parker). Culture Connection lists the following as 10 elements to great company culture: core values, celebrations, community, communication, caring, commitment to learning, consistency, connection, and chronicles. ‘The Method method’ speaks about each of these and how it worked for them. What can you do to instill these values in your company? Be brave and curious about trying something different. These are two of our core beliefs here at Switchback. They can propel your company into successful realms from the inside out. Arm everyone with the tools internally to be a brand enthusiast for you in the best ways possible. What are your culture club quirks?

 Book references: the method method by E. Ryan and A. Lowry, Culture Connection by M.Parker