New Belgium CEO reveals recipe for corporate culture
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
"I like to
collaborate — but I am super big on
winning," New Belgium Brewery CEO Kim Jordan told more than 130 NEW
members and supporters at the NEW Denver Spring Learning Event, June 9, 2015 at
Mile High Station in Denver.
Jordan shared her story of
founding of the brewery, what it is like to be a woman CEO in a male-dominated
industry and creating a successful corporate culture.
photos on Facebook
The culture at New
Belgium Brewery, now a 640-employee business, is based on employee ownership, a
high-involvement culture, environmental stewardship and a balance of masculine
and feminine, Jordan said, adding she strives to inject fun into the work day. "I
work in the beer business – if you can’t have fun here, you’d better check your
fun meter,” she said.
To encourage fun,
leaders need to give permission for the workplace to feel fun. "You have to
feel like the people you work with have your back, let you be who you are,
support you to do your best, laugh a lot and make opportunities for fun."
competition as "fabulous," Jordan says the contest to win consumers
makes the company's leaders smarter and drives innovation.
She relies on employee
input when naming New Belgium Brewery's beer. In fact, employees name a lot of
things in the office, including trash cans, "because everything is better
when it's named."
Referring to the company
as a "tribe,” Jordan detailed New Belgium Brewery's emphasis on inclusion and
investment in its talent. Company retreats are attended by all, from janitors
to top management. "It’s important to know people," Jordan said, "to
like them, to feel good about them.”
delegations to the event include Altria, Frito-Lay, King Soopers, MillerCoors
and WhiteWave Foods.
NEW Denver officers at the region's
spring learning event, June 9, 2015.