The Cornerstone of a Long-Lasting Company

Article by:
Kelly Cutler, EO Chicago
Kelly Cutler
EO Chicago

Kelly is the CEO of Marcel Media, a strategic interactive advisory firm that specializes in search-engine marketing, Web development and custom application integration. Marcel helps clients increase visibility, gain qualified leads and drive quality traffic to their Web sites. You can e-mail Kelly at [email protected].

There’s no secret recipe for guaranteed longevity in the business world. It takes a ton of hard work, a commitment to a strategic plan and a team of hard-working employees to make your dream a reality. But perhaps the biggest ingredient for future relevancy is the design and institution of a progressive company culture.

My interactive advisory firm, Marcel Media, focuses on an open-minded company culture. We set ourselves apart by encouraging the sharing of ideas, valuing dedication and creating an enjoyable environment. By providing my staff with a comfortable place to grow and learn, I am encouraging them to maximize their potential, leverage their experiences and engage in the growth of the business.
Here are three principles I employ to foster a progressive corporate culture:

The Power of Trust
Typically, my management style revolves around a “hands-off” approach, where I set the goals and guidelines while giving plenty of freedom for my staff to produce results. I’ve found that this empowers my staff to have a level of ownership they normally would not have. It also gives them a chance to make a bigger impact on all of the projects that they execute. What’s more, this kind of trust reinforces an employee’s self-confidence and encourages him or her to take on a higher level of responsibility.

Collecting Input
In addition to a unique level of trust with my staff, I consistently encourage them to share any ideas and concerns with me, no matter how large or small they might be. I feel it’s important to create an atmosphere where all members of the company have the ability to express themselves creatively and with an open mind. For example, we have a company meeting each week where all team members participate, including interns. We sit down to openly discuss what is going on and mull over creative suggestions. This type of meeting helps my employees feel connected to the overall mission of the company.

Work/Life Balance
Lastly, an environment that promotes a great work/life balance is vital to a progressive and successful company culture. Happy employees need a healthy equilibrium of personal time and work time. As the leader of the company, I have to set the tone. If my staff sees me “work hard and no play,” they would feel pressure to do the same; this could lead to burn out and fatigue when it comes to managing tasks and realizing projects.

In my experience, a powerful company culture is the cornerstone of a successful business. It not only sets you apart from the competition, it fosters growth and ensures a long-lasting place in your respective industry. I know much of my success is due to the dedication and passion of the people I employ. Working with determined, creative and experienced people is an advantage in itself, and allowing them to flourish in a free-thinking corporate culture can generate remarkable results.

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