Culture Matters: Project Lead The Way

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An education-focused nonprofit that found new life after relocating to Indianapolis from New York in 2012 bills itself as providing transformational learning experiences by hiring top talent and compensating them accordingly. Project Lead The Way is the focus on this month's Culture Matters segment and FirstPerson Chief Executive Officer Bryan Brenner says the organization is run with for-profit principles.

The company now employs 200 and Brenner says the move to the Midwest helped them "really create that culture" to drive further with some big-name, global clients.

"These (PLTW employees) are folks that are being recruited from all over the country -- the best within their field -- and so what Project Lead The Way has done is take a note from some of the TED Talks you read these days that say 'why should we pay these not-for-profit people at a lower level, give them lesser benefits, not a great environment' and then expect phenomenal, transformative results" Brenner asks? "They've said, 'nope,' transformational results require transformational approached." He says, in addition to paying well, the organization offers an open office plan, optional stand-up desks and an in-house testing lab where employees can try out the innovative classroom methods they create.

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