Epic CEO's business gems

Judy Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic, shares business insights and philosophies in a blog titled Hey Judy.

Her advice and stories cover business strategies, team culture, and more. Here are five takeaways from blog posts in the last 12 months.

1. On motivation with pain vs. pleasure: "When you want to change someone's behavior, what works better–pain or pleasure? Most people say pleasure, but most studies show that's not accurate. Pain is usually more powerful," Ms. Faulkner wrote

She noted the Epic team ensures customers understand pain points will occur if the implementation process doesn't go well. Ms. Faulkner also shared an example from Carl Dvorak, president of Epic, who needed a CIO to move faster with Epic implementation.

"After multiple attempts at persuading him, Carl finally suggested the CIO get his resume in order," she wrote. "That worked. Pain."

2. Setting prices: "We don't have cost centers or profit centers. I can't tell you if training, for example, makes or loses money, and I don't want to find out. We set our prices at what is sensible and fair. It's the overall that matters, not the components," Ms. Faulkner wrote.

3. Organic vs. inorganic growth: Ms. Faulkner receives emails asking Epic to invest in companies on a daily basis, which she turns down. "We have never invested in another company's products and don't intend to. It would be a distraction," Ms. Faulkner wrote.

Epic's software, she wrote, is written by internal team members with the patient in mind. If Epic acquired a new company, it would have different code and design.

"Users would know they left one world and are in another," wrote Ms. Faulkner. "Acquisitions of key products might be quick, but in the end, they are not what is best for the user."

4. Office space: Ms. Faulkner intentionally designed the Epic campus with productivity in mind. Team members have individual offices with food nearby and easy travel between buildings.

"Individual offices. No cubes. Huge boost in productivity," Ms. Faulkner wrote. "We keep building new buildings so staff can have their own offices without doubling up. About 15 percent want to be doubled."

Around 350 to 400 people have offices in each building to keep a sense of community and there is a three-story limit to encourage more in-person meetings.

5. Titles: Epic intentionally avoids titles for employees internally or with visitors. When someone introduces themselves, they'll mention their department or projects they're working on.

"We have noticed that a visitor will direct most comments to the person with the highest-level title, and by not giving titles, the visitor directs comments to the person who knows the most about the topic," Ms. Faulkner wrote. "As a result, more people participate, and the conversations are more meaningful."


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