In the Zappos universe, managers are monkeys, culture is king, customers are fans, and work is fun. And, for the record, Zappos is a real, profitable company. It is an online reseller of shoes, clothing and accessories including watches, handbags and eyewear, and it rang up $1 billion in gross sales last year. Businesses of all stripes are paying attention to its customer-centric and employee-friendly approach to business -- which seems to run counter to the prevailing economic currents, as cutting costs and services is all the rage these days. A culture at the core "You can't have happy employees without having a culture that employees want to grow and develop," said Alfred Lin, Zappos chief operating officer and chief financial officer. And happy employees have a lot to do with happy customers, he noted. Lin, who will deliver a keynote address at the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco in August, said a positive company culture can build a brand...
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