Friday, July 27, 2012

Watermelons, Chuck Taylors, And How Caribou Coffee Encourages A Culture Of Innovation

At Caribou Coffee, a company known for its arms-wide-open culture, CEO Mike Tattersfield lives by the mantra "listening, developing, recognizing" when it comes to employees. Unconventional tools to that end? Watermelons and Chuck Taylors.

To understand how a company known for its arms-wide-open culture manages to sustain it, look no further than the corner office at Caribou Coffee.

There you’ll find Mike Tattersfield--at a desk that doubles as a foosball table--surrounded by action shots of his employees’ feet, clad in customized Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers (more on that later). “It’s a conversation starter,” admits Tattersfield with a hearty laugh, but the photos represent his larger vision for the company: “Listening, developing, recognizing,” and a cornerstone for its innovation process.

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