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Dave Olson, Published April 26 2013

Fargo conference fans flames of entrepreneurial spirit

FARGO – Organizing workers into small, effective teams can have a big impact on whether a company succeeds in today’s economy.

That message was underscored numerous times this morning at the CULTIVATE.you conference at the Fargo Theatre, which featured talks by Rich Karlgaard, a North Dakota native and publisher of Forbes magazine, and Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Sydney, Australia-based Atlassian, one of the world’s fastest-growing enterprise software companies.

The aim of the conference was to nourish entrepreneurial spirit in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Karlgaard, an author who explores what makes companies work, told the audience successful business people have told him that small employee teams work best.

He said at Amazon, the saying goes: “If you can’t feed your team with two pizzas, it’s too big.”

Cannon-Brookes said a goal of his company is to ruin their talented employees for any other employer by making sure they have fun in addition to working hard.

He said touchscreens are set up near exit doors and workers are asked to answer a single question as they leave work, with the questions ranging from “How do you feel?” to whether the worker thinks their supervisor knows their strengths.

“We take the pulse of our people every day,” he said.

See Saturday’s Forum for more.