While checking out the best of Slideshare 2014, I came across this gem. For anyone reading my blog, or anyone that knows me, this perfectly encapsulates my thinking on Company Culture and what it should be. Give it a quick run through and I think you’ll fall in love with it.
An email to my team today:
Two big things…
1. This is a blog by a marketing pro that I can’t recommend enough. He posts daily and most of them are only a few sentences but help to take one’s thinking in a new direction.
Today’s is about media and how it’s not always a good thing. Go ahead, click on the link and read it. I’ll wait….
Oh, back so soon? Did you enjoy it? I hope so! You should subscribe!
2. The big takeaway from this post was the role media plays in our lives and what we do with our downtime. As I’ve stated before:
Professionals recognize the gap in their own knowledge and seek to fill in those gaps.
Everyone has downtime. CVI, The Lofts, Knights Circle, etc… it’s what we choose to do with that time that makes the difference between winning and losing.
- Do we increase our knowledge? Do we find a cool application that can help us easily communicate with Residents?
- Do we find a new way to follow up with prospective clients? With existing ones?
- Do we find great event/promotional things other places are doing around the country so we can steal them or adapt to our purpose?
- Do we advance our own internal processes through reading about cool new practices of other companies and start ups?
There’s no such thing as remaining “the same” – things (including us) are in either of two states: Getting better or getting worse. So which are we? This isn’t a question for a one-time decision either. This is a SERIES of choices we are constantly engaged in. Like going for a run, you don’t just decide to run for a period of time, you continuously decide to KEEP running, each step, until you don’t anymore. You didn’t make one decision to make a journey of 10,000 steps – you made 10,000 decisions to make a single step.
Do we have habits that help us? Do we do the small things that allow us to excel at the big things? What are those things we should be seeking out? What cool idea did we come up with today?
That’s why I’m asking each of you to help with our manifesto. What do we stand for, what are we passionate about, what do you LOVE about CVI? Our culture is going to be based largely on our collective feelings and thoughts and beliefs. What you care about IS what CVI cares about.
Check these puppies out :
Let’s Start Simply. What do you like that we do? What do you like about what we stand for?
What should we do? What should we stand for?
Manifestos aren’t mission statements – we have one of those and that’s mainly for us – internally. The manifesto is something we send out into the world, a herald of who we are and what we’re about. If you like our manifesto, you’re going to like us. If you don’t, then you’re not going to like us or the experience of us.
There is no CVI-Orlando. There is only Brittany, Donna, Carter, Marlee, Larry, Nick, Tara, Arianna, Christina, Sammy, Charley, Tito, Terry, David, Cathy, Margie, Wilfredo, Cecil, Vicente, etc…
So, over the next two weeks, as we enjoy a time of quiet and introspection, I’d like you to all join me in thinking of individual items that describe what is best about what we do. A few off the top of my head:
- We believe in being candid with our Residents, Team members, and vendors.
- Our creativity and drive are indispensable – we won’t them!
- Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
- Life is complicated enough– we seek to simplify in everything we do.
- We figure out how to do new things we’ve never done before so we can achieve like never before.
- We make our product bigger than the sum of its parts.
- We’re committed to everyone’s success.
What matters and what do you think?
As usual, Seth Godin’s blog delivers succinct brilliance. Today’s is about the quickest way to bring about change, which he relays within three points. Spoilers: the answer is not electing someone to the Presidency.
Coming up in the Student Housing Industry in Gainesville (Go Gators), I worked as a Community Manager for an outfit that had 24 other such managers in the same market. We all managed similar assets (more or less) and were nearly exclusively in our early/mid-twenties. As such, we were eager to make names for ourselves and vault up the hierarchy. Competition was rampant and ruled the day – though it was nearly always friendly – akin to sibling rivalry. Read: A fun place to work.
As you’d expect; a few of us were terrible each year, most were average, and a few were incredible successes. I’m happy to report I was always in that last group – the ones who won every single year, in the country’s toughest Student Housing market.
To put it in perspective: if Student Housing is the Vietnam war – working in Gainesville is being in the shit.
When we’d get together after hours or at events, other Managers in the second group (average) would lament to me that I always got whatever I asked for – in regards to permission for certain types of promotions or money for improvements.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. I learned after the first year to never ask for anything. When you ask permission you give people the chance to say no. After all, saying ‘no’ insures you don’t screw something up and waste time or money by doing something new – and by definition – unproven. Saying ‘yes’ means you could fall on your face and they’d be blamed for authorizing your blunder. Guess which response got chosen almost reflexively?
That’s when I let them know that I just did what I thought best for the company and for my asset.
If I knew a “Cooler-Scooter” was going to draw attention on campus and actually make my Leasing people want to flyer (thus increasing our success in leading traffic to the property) then what was the big deal? Spend the $500. But what if someone got hurt? Are you kidding me?!
That was the part that they couldn’t get comfortable with. They wanted the blessing and the political cover to do what they thought best without any possible blow back if it pulled a giant Hindenburg. No risk – all reward. Life doesn’t work that way.
Here’s my spin on Seth’s advice:
Don’t demand the power or ask permission – just do what needs doing and make sure it falls in line with your company’s culture and beliefs.
Take the Responsibility for what happens next – if you decide to spend money on a marketing venture and it doesn’t bear fruit, own that and state what you’d do differently.
If you succeed in your venture you won’t be alone. “Success has a thousand fathers, Failure is an orphan.” Share the parentage with anyone who helped or assisted and be gracious. People will let you get away with being the Maverick if they know you’re not going rouge and losing touch with the greater team.
Probably the biggest thing I’ve failed to mention is that you have to believe in what you’re doing, overpoweringly so. If you owned the company and this was your money at play, would you do the same? If you hesitate even an instant in answering that question, slow down. Stop. There’s always tomorrow.