At 2930 Creative, one of our most important core values is “Always be kind.” We will be discussing it all through the month of September through our blog and on our social networks. We will be highlighting some of our colleagues and clients who are trying to make a difference in their community. We are also working on a Google Hangout to talk about how creating a culture of kindness helped us to build our organization, and allowed us to help other organizations as well.
2930 Creative made a commitment to kindness when we first started; however only in the past year has it become one of our official values. Kindness, to us, is about the way we treat our clients, our vendors, colleagues, competitors, and community. It’s about giving back through charitable acts, volunteering, mentorship, and creating a positive environment that fosters creativity and the willingness to pay it forward.
The results since making the commitment to kindness have been overwhelmingly positive and immediate. Our tiny team has doubled in size because we have found people who not only believe in what we are doing, but want that vision to grow. Our philanthropic efforts have introduced us to new projects and new people; friendly faces that we now call friends. Because of our work with smaller nonprofits, we have gained larger projects than we could ever hope for that will bring more exposure to our mission. To summarize, making the culture shift to clients has allowed us to grow our team and our network, and increased our bottom line.
But kindness, as we know, is not a one-way street. We have enjoyed our experiences, but even greater is how we’ve been able to help. Our team has clocked volunteer hours for several various charities, not only working events but providing our services free to organizations that need creative work. We have also helped to raise several hundred thousand dollars to small businesses and nonprofit organizations through our campaigns and efforts. This is why Be Kind and Give Back are two of our four core values. This is the legacy we want to leave behind.
You can do it, too! No matter what your business size, making a positive cultural shift that values kindness and goodness is rewarding. You don’t spend a ton of money to do it either; just your time and energy to create something that will let the whole world know who you are through your actions. We are excited to be exploring this topic further through the month of September.
How do I bring a culture change into my agency?
For 2930 Creative, it was all about getting back to our roots and determining what motivated us. Everyone who works on our team could be making more money, earning more accolades, and getting more recognition at other agencies. None of this was as important to us, however, as treating people with respect and courtesy. Our clients loved us for our candor and our ability to share in their successes while providing a high level of service. We wanted someone to know, just by walking through our door, that this is what we stand for. It needed to be replicated and practiced on all levels of our business.
For you, it starts with what that little burning fire in your heart is telling you. What gets you up and to work everyday. It’s not the money. That is a result of your motivation. What inspires you, what makes you want to keep doing the same thing over and over again, and what excites you when you talk to others about why your business is special? That is how you start your culture shift. Once you figure that out, understand how it can be implemented in ever aspect of your business: sales, customer service, production and even accounting.
What should my ultimate goal be when making this culture change, both for my company and me?
That’s up to you ultimately. For us, our ultimate goal was to create a space where people could come with their wildest ideas and trust that they would be treated with respect. Because of that, we have been able to meet some amazing clients that a bigger agency may overlook. Think beyond the money and the awards: where will you feel the most fulfilled? When you leave this great blue planet, what will be your legacy? What one change will start you down this path? From there, it’s just creating the milestones in between. For example, getting our space in downtown Dallas was the first step in getting a bigger space where nonprofit organizations and small business owners from all over the country could bring their huge campaign ideas; a space busy with ideas and art and creativity that we have dreamed about long before we even thought about 2930 Creative. It is another milestone on our path to that goal, and it will provide us with a big tool in implementing these crazy ideas like Being Kind and Giving Back.
What if I’m too busy to implement a new company culture?
I am a strong believer that if something is important enough for you to want it, you will find time for it to happen. It’s not a sudden change; it’s a gradual one. You will have those that push back and flat out reject it. You will have to work at it, and nurture it as it grows. Your company culture is in many ways your company’s spiritual identity.
As with anything, carving out time each month to implement or examine your company culture is essential. If it’s a priority for you, it should be on your schedule the same as any billable hour. Since this is also a gradual project that will take some time, you might want to make small goals and checklists that allow you to measure your progress.
We are excited to share more including how some of our other clients are already succeeding in building their company cultures. We’re ready to kickoff this month, but first we want to know about you! If you are a small business or nonprofit organization building a culture of kindness, we want to hear about it. Tell us in the comments or send us an email.
Remember: Work Hard, Be Kind, Give Back, and Create Things.
2930 Creative is an advertising agency in Dallas, Texas that specializes in online strategy and design. If you would like to learn more about us, check us out on our social networks on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.