Monday, March 29, 2010

The "Help Me, Help You" Concept

A colleague of mine recently posted this video on his you tube page.

The basic idea of this is to connect with his clients and ask them what they want. It is the “help me to help you” motto. It really got me wondering why we don’t do this more often?

I spend at least an hour a week (usually more) in meetings or conference calls around what our clients want. We look at statistics, what typically works well and often simply speculate at what it is our clients want. Very rarely do we take a moment to simply ask them directly.

I am not going to write on and on – as I think we all understand what I am saying here.

I am curious to know though - What do you think of this video? Should we be asking clients directly what they want?  As a client, is this helpful to do or frustrating for you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Company Culture - What's Your Vote?

“No matter what your business, the only way to generate enduring profits is to begin by building the kind of workplace that attracts, focuses, and keeps talented employees.” - From The Service Profit Chain, by James Heskett, W. Earl Sasser & Leonard Schlesinger

I have a close friend who has recently been going through the “ups” and “downs” of job hunting. Through out her journey we have chatted around each interview she had, the type of companies, what the people were like, what did the company do, etc… One topic that continued to surface around each potential job was the culture of the company. At the end of the day, weather or not it was a good job, paid well and had great hours – it needed to be the right cultural fit for her.

This may seem obvious to those of you reading this, but to me – I was reminded of just how amazing the culture at my company is. I feel that often we can all take for granted to culture of the companies we work for. We get bogged down with the daily issues, and forget just how great things really are.

What is corporate or company culture? When I began to examine what made up the culture in a company, I came up with the following list; values, leadership style, internal language, procedures, routines, the definition of success. This obviously creates a wide variety of cultures that can surface from company to company. Not every company has a culture that is the right fit for me, but my company may not be the right fit for many people either.

I believe that the “norms” for any company define how the employee’s interact with each other and with outside clients or vendors. The culture of a company has the potential to lend a “human” side to the corporate environment. For example, at the company I work for Eagle’s Flight, it is the norm to take a 2 hour break once a month and participate in a company wide “fun” event. This is a time for all of us to get together, no matter how busy the past month may have been, and just have a little fun! We get to know each other outside of our roles in the company and see who everyone is as themselves.

At work I am allowed to have a goofy gadget on my desk to entertain not only myself, but those I work with. I have learned that work can be fun while still being productive. I would argue that we are MORE productive because of our fun and relaxed environment. We have an entire stair well dedicated to the signatures of everyone who walks into it. Not a typical corporate office, but it is FUN and we all LOVE IT! (I have put pictures below to show you just what I mean).

Every employee at Eagle’s Flight is focused on the common goal of making the company better, faster, top of our field, etc… We pride ourselves in being “The Best at Making People Better”. This is not a goal forced upon anyone, but something that each employee believes in. Because of our culture we are a team – and no one wants to let their team mates down. Because of our culture we have a stronger drive to achieve our common goal.

I would love to hear your thoughts on your company culture, on company culture in general, or just on this entry. Leave a note below!

Until next time,


p.s. here is a short video clip focused on our company culture here at Eagle’s Flight. Take a look!

Enjoy a few pictures of our Eagle's Flight culture in action!

<- My husband and I got Whip Cream in the face at last year's all company summer bbq lunch!
<- one day my team decided to each wear a differant costume from each of our Eagle's Fligth programs... just for FUN!
< - sometimes you need to let stress out! 
<- we go all out for Rock Band competitions at Eagle's Flight
<- Love to wear my Eagle slippers to a long day of work at Eagle's Flight
       < - parts of our signed walls in the stairwell