Quicken Loans is the largest online mortgage retail lender in the U.S. It also ranks as the second largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S.
It's no coincidence that it's also appeared on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For list the last 14 consecutive years.
(Oh, and by the way, its offices in downtown Detroit are some of the coolest I've ever visited.)
No matter how you look at it - even by the harshest critic - Quicken is doing something right.
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
And it all boils down to its culture. A culture inspired by its iconic, billionaire-founder, Dan Gilbert. He's created a culture that fully embodies the Peter Drucker quote, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast."
As his company was growing, Gilbert documented and grew Quicken's culture ingredients. He calls the ingredients ISMs, and they embody who Quicken employees are, versus what they do.
You need to read them. These ISMs are great for any company - of any size - to follow.
Start With Yes, Before You Say No
Of particular note, at least to this author, is the ISM: Yes before no.
"It's critically important that we live the culture of YES. This does not mean that every single idea, question, suggestion or recommendation will ultimately be met with a big thumbs-up. It means that we respond to all curiosity with the mindset of YES first. Our bias is to the YES side of life. This is in stark contrast to the too common approach of an automatic NO to any expression of an inquiring mind. Saying NO is easier, but the status quo is not our favorite state. We live in the land of growth, possibilities, ideas, innovation, positive impact and results. The only path to that place is through openness to the unknown. So YES before NO, and NO only if we have done the work and exhausted all the potential of YES first."
Only Say No When You've Exhausted Every Possibility
Think of that! A culture that starts with "yes" and only says no when they've exhausted every possibility.
It's something we'd all do well to incorporate into our cultures, and our lives.
For Dan, he can point to a billion reasons why it's worked for him.