Soon after ~ Jean Lipman-Blumen sent off the manuscript for “The Connective Edge,” her 1996 book around effective leaders, the Claremont Graduate college professor heard a speech by a record sector entrepreneur that made her wish she can have yanked it back for one critical addition.

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Richard Foos, president and also co-founder that the eccentric Rhino entertainment Co. In West Los Angeles, was describing his initiatives to produce a rectal where people are urged to take pleasure not just in accomplishing day-to-day tasks, but additionally in follow worthwhile tasks outside the office.

Foos hence epitomizes what Lipman-Blumen explained eloquently in her publication (published by Jossey-Bass Publishers in mountain Francisco): a new sort of this firm leader who looks for to affix with workers on an emotional level, liberating them come do great work and an excellent deeds. This “connective” layout defies the “authoritarian, competitive and ruggedly individualistic leadership” that has been the share in that company America and also that Lipman-Blumen contends is outmoded.

“He has actually a feeling that yes important an interpretation to life,” states Lipman-Blumen, an government on leadership and also organizational behavior. Companies need to make “what we execute a huge source of ours joy and also joy because that others.”

There’s no doubt the Rhino, the premier pop culture archivist, is a resource of good vibes because that its customers. The company’s eclectic directory includes albums or boxed sets by artists from man Coltrane come Buck Owens to the Monkees.

But Rhino additionally strives to help employees feel much more fulfilled by encouraging ar activism. The firm puts some muscle behind that goal: each of Rhino’s 150 employees that puts in 16 hrs of community business during the year it s okay a weeklong paid holiday at year-end. (Not surprisingly, participation has actually been 100% in the last three years.) for each additional eight hours of ar service, the agency offers a payment day off, increase to 6 days.


To take advantage of the program, employees have the right to do noþeles they want in the non-profit field, indigenous planting trees to managing phones in ~ public television pledge cd driver to reading to kids in proficiency programs.

Allyson De Simone, a process manager who makes sure the Rhino compact discs come out on schedule, put in 100 come 120 hours of community organization a year, lot of it at the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, one education-recreation facility established in the Los Angeles inside city by a mom whose son, a protection guard, was eliminated by gang cross-fire. That center and also the Culver West Convalescent facility are amongst the company’s pets projects.

Rhino’s community involvement routine was a big lure five years earlier for applicant De Simone, a music lover who initially planned to it is in a civil legal rights attorney. “It’s as far-ranging to me together health-care coverage and paid vacations,” she says.

Among numerous other activities, she walk camping with youngsters from the Wooten center, rides tandem bikes with the blind and works through Women versus Gun Violence. A few months ago, another record label made a operation at De Simone, but, she said, that “political philosophy wasn’t choose mine, so i wasn’t even interested.”

Rhino’s mellow cheer derives indigenous its mission statement, which hangs in the lobby in ~ the ersatz head that a rhinoceros. Laid the end in pictographs, it sets the happy-go-lucky yet socially mindful tone that helps Rhino retain employees who might make far an ext money at timeless studios. It reads:

“At Rhino, our mission is to put out good stuff, have some fun, make part money, find out from every other and also make a difference wherever us can. Ours future is minimal only by our imagination.”


Support because that volunteerism--along through profit-sharing and also monthly giveaways of CDs to all employees--comes naturally to Foos, who says his parents were “always society do-gooders, v a strong sense of social responsibility.” two years ago, he helped discovered the southerly California chapter of company for society Responsibility, and also he respects the social goals of carriers such together Ben & jerry’s Homemade and Body Shop.

His partner, Harold Bronson, shares his commitment and also a strong belief the the firm benefits from a hands-off management style that sparks innovation and productivity. (Under Rhino’s big Ideas program, employees through innovative concepts get financial rewards.) over all, Foos and Bronson desire to certain that occupational doesn’t get in the way of life an ext than it has actually to.

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“Life has actually a certain amount of survive quotient to it,” Bronson says. “People need to be an innovative about having fun. tap part deep source. If managers are constantly looking over their shoulder, just how happy deserve to they be?”

The an enig to Bronson is that an ext companies aren’t building stronger connections with employees. “It befuddles me,” he says. “It doesn’t seem that there’s a mass movement of providers realizing they need to make the atmosphere better. It’s no a brand-new issue. What we’re law is no groundbreaking. Just how come so plenty of companies out there haven’t acquired it?”

Does your company have an innovative approach to letting employees shine top top or off the job? tell us around it. Compose to Martha Groves, this firm Currents, organization Section, Los Angeles Times, Times mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or e-mail martha.groves


Martha Groves, who covered the Westside because that the Los Angeles Times, left the newsroom in 2015. A indigenous Hoosier, she became a subway reporter after many years together a business writer and also editor. She previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and also the late, lamented Chicago everyday News.