Episode 38 | How MOD Pizza Made Culture Their #1 Competitive Advantage

with MOD Pizza CEO Scott Svenson

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Our guest this week is Scott Svenson, the co-founder and CEO of MOD Super Fast Pizza. MOD is the pioneer in the fast casual pizza market and is now one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the US, with 114 stores open today and plans to have 190 open by the end of 2016.  Thats some serious growth.

There’s no doubt that Scott is an accomplished leader – he and his wife have built multiple successful companies both in the US and UK.

But what impresses me most about it him is his calm demeanor, stoic nature and sense of confidence that he gives to others. He’s just got a really cool aura about him – like he is fully present and aware – and I know this is one of the many reasons people really love working with him, and why he has had so much success.

I had the fortune of meeting Scott at Harvard a few months ago, where we were both taking a leadership and executive management course that was developed through YPO, the Young President’s Organization. Scott’s company MOD Pizza was a case study for all of the 200 CEOs and business leaders there, and it was through this case study that I realized Scott and MOD have something really cool going on that we can all learn from.

What I found most fascinating – and what we talked about at length in this interview – is how MOD thrives with a business model that puts employee experience first.

Key Takeaways

  • Scott explains the importance of believing that human beings are inherently good, and how expectations often shape outcomes.
  • Why even though pizza is all that MOD sells, but it’s actually not the most important thing in MOD’s business.
  • Why when setting up guidelines for your team members, its all about creating “wide boulevards and high curbs.”
  • Why Scott and his wife Ally founded MOD Pizza under the banner of “enlightened capitalism.”
  • The surprising way that money can buy happiness (hint: it’s not how you think).

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