Monday, May 9, 2011

Creating a Winning Company Culture
Why do some companies make it look so easy?

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that some companies and organizations just seem to have the look and feel of winners. Early in my career, I remember going to conventions and industry events and meeting people who were part of the “It” company.

One company in particular, Adayana Agribusiness Group, a training and research company headquartered in Indiana, has that image. The company’s people are very polished and professional, creating a brand image of a company that is “the best” in its field. When I first met Mike Jackson, the company founder, I was in awe of his company and wondered to myself, “What is his secret?”

Over time, I got to know Mike, a very nice person who had established a very high set of standards within which every employee operated. They were very polished, conveying an image of professionalism. They were expert listeners and clear communicators. From customer contact to industry involvement, the company did everything in a first-class style.

Another company, Learfield Communications, a broadcast firm, has also impressed me in much the same way. Company founder Clyde Lear, a gentleman and professional businessman, has a similar style. He always impressed me by the way he treated every person, from his largest client to his competitors. Everyone is treated as a friend. Clyde’s personality and leadership style resonates through everything the company does. Check out their Mission and Values. Unlike any I’ve ever read, and I seriously dislike most mission and vision statements, this page is true Clyde Lear.

I can say that much of what I observed in these individuals went into the way we operate at Brand Acceleration. Although our operational style is not written down in such a document as Learfield’s, we operate under an unspoken set of guidelines, among them are the following:

Honesty and integrity are crucial
The one thing we have in this world is our reputation. Our company brand rides squarely on the backs of each individual associated with this firm. Whether good news or bad, we will never, ever, be anything less than honest with our clients, associates, and friends. Additionally, we expect the same treatment in return.

We encourage and embrace risk-taking
The only way to differentiate our company and the services we offer is by taking risks and finding new and better ways to serve our clients. Will mistakes be made? Certainly! Will we occasionally fall on our faces? Absolutely! That’s how we learn and improve. We encourage our clients to take risks, too. Only by taking risks can they differentiate themselves and achieve stand-out status.

No room for bullies or crybabies
We only do business with people we like. Life’s too short and we have neither the time nor the desire to associate with bullies or crybabies. Over my career, I’ve had co-workers, vendors, and clients who have an affinity for mistreating others. The end result is always the same; people’s lives are made miserable and the relationship eventually ends. So, at Brand Acceleration, we don’t go there. Our employees, vendors, and clients either play well together or someone leaves. Period!

Have fun!
If we can’t have fun at our jobs, why continue doing what we do? For the money? Right! Is that it? At Brand Acceleration, we seek joy from everything we do. Our team, vendors, clients, and others are each part of what makes us happy. Understanding that we are all working toward the same goal, we work hard to do great things and build relationships that will last forever.

If we can ever be of service to your community or company, I hope you’ll give me a call. I could always use another customer, and another friend.

Brand Acceleration is a full-service advertising, brand management and public relations firm operating from Indianapolis, Indiana and Charlotte, North Carolina. The agency’s focus is on economic development, architecture/engineering/construction, and real estate.

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