K/P Corp.--Achieving Purpose And Profit
According to Taylor, K/P has been able to develop and grow through its approach to customers and markets by providing complex, single-source tools in a way that is simple for the customer to understand and utilize. It entails a collaborative work environment that feeds off the company's core values, which was underscored in a speech Knapp delivered to his employees two years ago. In that speech, Knapp discussed the need to strike a balance between P&P—purpose and profit.
"We have a very collaborative work environment where people care about each other and want to make each other successful," Taylor remarks. "That, to me, is the key factor in keeping up with change. It makes change exciting rather than a threat, because change can absolutely be both of these.
"I want to prove that our dual goals of purpose and profit lead to a company with better financial returns," he adds. "To be honest, you don't get any credibility until you have that, and you just get the reputation of being a nice place to work. But you're not really creating wealth like successful companies are; and one of the key things about K/P trying to achieve purpose and profit is that as we create wealth, we want to be sure it's distributed fairly within the company. We try to have a company of capitalists."
It should be stated that K/P is also a nice place to work. Scott and Taylor point out that they are not keepers of the idealistic flame; an entrepreneurial spirit envelops each member of the K/P team. The proprietary notion exceeds stock certificates. Employees boast a sense of personal investment—a culture of entrepreneurial thinking and accountability normally reserved for higher-ups permeates the entire K/P organization. The company gospel is not housed in a dusty strategic plan sitting on the bookshelf in San Ramon. It is brought to work each day by the employees.