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Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver by Theresa Braun, Dave Kerpen

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CHAPTER 5

Team Playing

There’s No “I” in Team (or Culture)

Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.

—SEAL Team Saying

In 1999 DaVita, a dialysis provider, was called “Total Renal Care” and was on the brink of bankruptcy. There was no culture, no vision, no money, and no plan to turn the company around. The outlook for the company was bleak.

A new CEO, Kent Thiry (known throughout the company as KT), was hired to reorganize the company. KT did turn the company around, and surprisingly, he did so by turning around the culture first. He told those worried Total Renal Care employees in 1999 that from now on, they were “a community first, and a company second.” He called them “teammates” and “citizens” rather than employees. And he called ...

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