Ken Wilcox on Motivating Employees

Wilcox: The two most important ingredients from my perspective in motivating employees to stay ahead of the competition are these. First of all, we go out of our way to hire highly conscientious people, people that drive themselves. I don’t think that anybody stays at SVB who isn’t inherently conscientious. Our folks work really hard but not because anybody tells them to, simply because they want to. The second factor, though, in motivating your employees to stay ahead of the competition is culture. The kind of culture that you build will make all the difference in the world in terms of whether or not your employees work hard to stay ahead of the competition. The two most important aspects of any company are strategy and culture. And I would say under any circumstances, culture trumps strategy. By culture, what I mean is the common understanding that you build among your employees around the way they treat each other, and the way they treat their clients. You could also describe culture as values, a set of values that you mean, that you live, that you not just talk about but you also exhibit on a daily basis and that people will identify with or not, sign up for or not, and that will either cause people to stay in your corporation or because they can’t identify, move on.

Ken Wilcox knows the importance of keeping employees creatively engaged.

Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
  • In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
  • Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
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Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

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Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
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