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Bill and Dave posing on a production line in 1963.

The HP Way

"...an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as 'the HP Way.' The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees' brainpower was the company's most important resource. ...one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans... gave shares to all employees... among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing..."
 Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek

"The garage was left behind... So too were the audio oscillator and thousands of other products all abandoned in the endless pursuit of something better. Only the people remained, and they were cherished and respected..."
 Michael Malone, Forbes 

"The janitor gets exactly the same percentage increase due to profit sharing that I do, or anyone else in the company."
 Bill Hewlett, Bill & Dave's Memos

In 1942, at age 29, Packard attended a Stanford conference on wartime production. "Somehow, we got into a discussion of the responsibility of management. Professor Holden made the point that management's responsibility is to the shareholders that's the end of it. And I objected. I said, 'I think you're absolutely wrong. Management has a responsibility to its employees, it has a responsibility to its customers, it has a responsibility to the community at large.' And they almost laughed me out of the room."
 David Packard, Stanford Magazine

"...a uniquely dedicated culture that became a fierce competitive weapon, delivering 40 consecutive years of profitable growth. While Packard's values have since waned within HP, he did more to create the DNA of Silicon Valley than perhaps any other CEO."
 Jim Collins, Fortune, 2003

Timeless business lessons from HP history. HP people talk about what went right and what went wrong as this continuous startup grew rapidly for decades.

About HP, HPInc, HPE, and related companies

Know someone leaving or expecting to leave HPInc or HPE? Send them this link to our "ASAP Checklist" advice from alumni on urgent things to do before losing access to internal systems and in the following weeks. (Membership not required.) Not officially endorsed or supported by any company.

The HP Way

We have trust and respect for individuals.

We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible. [For example, "Don't lock the lab-stock room."]

We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.

Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.

We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.

We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.

We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.

We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.

We encourage flexibility and innovation.

We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.

Circa 1992 (See also The HP Way internal booklet, 1980.)

HP Corporate Objectives

1. Profit. To recognize that profit is the best single measure of our contribution to society and the ultimate source of our corporate strength. We should attempt to achieve the maximum possible profit consistent with our other objectives.

2. Customers. To strive for continual improvement in the quality, usefulness, and value of the products and services we offer our customers.

3. Field of Interest. To concentrate our efforts, continually seeking new opportunities for growth but limiting our involvement to fields in which we have capability and can make a contribution.

4. Growth. To emphasize growth as a measure of strength and a requirement for survival.

5. Employees. To provide employment opportunities for HP people that include the opportunity to share in the company's success, which they help make possible. To provide for them job security based on performance, and to provide the opportunity for personal satisfaction that comes from a sense of accomplishment in their work.

6. Organization. To maintain an organizational environment that fosters individual motivation, initiative and creativity, and a wide latitude of freedom in working toward established objectives and goals.

7. Citizenship. To meet the obligations of good citizenship by making contributions to the community and to the institutions in our society which generate the environment in which we operate.

--as of 1966 The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company by David Packard, page 80.

The HP Way continues at HP spinoffs

Agilent: "Agilent values. Built to last"  "Why Agilent"

Keysight:  "Enabling Values" [scroll down]

HPAlumni. Operated by volunteers. Not officially endorsed or supported by any company. Questions or comments to: info-history@hpalumni.org  (Agilent and Keysight added Feb 13, 2020.)

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