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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
"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..."
"The janitor gets exactly the same percentage increase due to
profit sharing that I do, or anyone else in the company."
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."
"...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."
Business lessons from HP history. HP people talk about what went right – and what went wrong – as this continuous startup grew rapidly for decades.
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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."]
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be outdated in the future.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 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
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
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.
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