What CULTURE really looks like
‘Culture’ as of late, seems to be an overused buzzword and the topic of every panel,
podcast, or article. It is also the subject of many blogs, books,
conventions, webinar and videos.
To only further prove my point, I’m writing a blog about culture. However I don’t
want to just talk about it, I prefer to show you.
ALANTE Culture Case Study
January, 2016. For most companies, the start of a new year is one where
most sales teams are laser focused to make it their best year yet. A fresh
slate, a new start, and a way to achieve their dreams, goals, and, in some
cases, new beginnings. Not the case for ALANTE, we started off the year
with a major shift despite coming of our best year yet production wise and growth wise.
For the first time since we opened our doors, we had a ‘restructure’ in the
company. We had to let some people go to follow their dreams with other companies. Why, you ask?
I once was told the following and while it stuck in my head it never was more true than at this time:
“The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate”
I was also heading to attend and speak at the Inman Connect Conference
in NYC, to add to the mayhem.
I contemplated not leaving my team behind in Plymouth, MA as I feared I
may be most needed at home for moral support. I batted it around for
days and, in the end, I set off to NYC.
What happened next touched my heart.
Please note: this was all unbeknownst to me.
The day is January 27th and I’m in New York City prepping and
preparing for my panel on stage. My team back home, displaying more
unity, strength, and support than ever, decide to head to NYC to surprise
me while I’m onstage.
To show up unannounced and show unconditional support and loyalty, is
something that can’t be taught. However, it is not an easy feat to pull off
last minute to an industry event with such scale like Inman NYC.
In a matter of hours, they reach out to some amazing people to help them
achieve this plan. First, they reach out to Laura Monroe (former Inman
employee) to see if she had a connection to help get them in.
Laura directed them to Drew Lehman, who in turn, graciously said he
would help make this happen to the best of his ability.
You guys rock!
Once they researched a little more and found out I was only on stage for
25 minutes, they rationalized it. Arriving at the conclusion that it might be
a bit crazy to have the entire team drive from Plymouth, MA to NYC and
back for that amount of time.
So they reached out to Chris Speicher, hoping he would be in attendance
and could capture the panel on video. Unfortunately, prior obligations
didn’t afford Chris the ability to make Inman NYC this year. He then
passed the plan off to Tiffany Kjellander, who was there. Tiffany was able
to Periscope the entire panel, so the team back in Plymouth could see the
Seriously, you guys rock!
So, in the end, what is Culture?
Culture, to me, is the house itself vs. the foundation of the house (read that analogy once and made total sense) Two different things yet one cannot occur without the other.
Culture evolves as the company grows and the product or service shifts but the foundation (or core values) remain the same.
When the foundation of a company is in complete alignment with the foundation of each individual at that company, this is when magic happens, this is when a beautiful sturdy happy solid house gets built, this is culture at it’s best.
Our vision statement reads: We are a small boutique firm with a big heart.
Having a big heart is the foundation, What this team intended to do this week, it’s the house.
Culture is not a fad. It is the core of a healthy organization, it’s the heart of a company and ours is
beating harder and stronger than ever.
A sincere thank you to all the incredible leaders in this industry that made
this heart beat take place.
And to my ALANTE family, you were all handpicked for a reason.
I couldn’t be more proud of our tribe.