Let Go & Lead
Eric Ryan Co-founder
Method

On Building a Unique Corporate Culture (2:36)

MARIL MACDONALD:
And what does being weird provide you in terms of a competitive advantage?

ERIC RYAN:
Creativity.

MARIL MACDONALD:
Yeah.

ERIC RYAN:
Differentiation of thought. The ability to ah, have the courage to be different and create difference in the market place.

So, you know again we’re, we’re competing against um, an industry where ah, a handful of competitors have dominated it, not for decades but literally for a century.  You know Proctor & Gamble has a — about a 165 year head start on us.

And ah, if you walk the ah, the — if, if you walked ah, the cleaning aisle at your local grocery store it’s not only large, multi-nationals but these companies were the first multi-nationals in the form of like Unilever.

And um, there’s a lot of um, I would call “sea of sameness” and we felt that our only chance of success was to be as different as possible.  And things that are most different and the people who change the world the most, let’s face it, they’re a little weird.  And anything that’s different to begin with is usually considered weird and over time it becomes normal.

And so, we loved embracing weird because to us it was about really thinking and acting different.  It was about embracing diversity of thought and setting up a company that was comfortable in its own skin.  And one of the ways that we interview everybody is — the last question they get and what we call a homework assignment is ah, to present how will they personally help keep Method weird?  What will they bring to the table that’s their own personal self that they can ah, contribute to the organization on a, a daily basis?

MARIL MACDONALD:
So, of course, I have to ask you for — you know what were some of the best things that you’ve seen?

ERIC RYAN:
You know I think the best things are when people bring like their own personal passion. We had one guy who is really in to horse betting and he swore he was going to get all of us in to horse betting.  Ah, we’ve had people in to yoga who take us through yoga.  We have musicians –we had one guy who had his whole band show up at the end of his homework assignment and ah, started playing and the promise was to bring more music and how music would inspire people at Method. (Cut to)

MARIL MACDONALD:
I have to believe that just that process keeps a lot of your culture alive too, because it takes a lot on your part to just go with it. (Cut to)

ERIC RYAN:
Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s –about making it contagious, right?

And culture —- is contagious.  And you’ll see what somebody will do some random act of kindness like doing break-breakfast burritos for everybody at the Monday huddle — a week later somebody else will do something else.  And um, I mean culture is contagious so, when you’ve got people who come in and interview and constantly bring fresh new ideas, it, it inspires all of us.