BerylHealth, a healthcare call center, had its start with three employees and the phone line in a backroom. Between 1985 and 2012, founder and CEO Paul Spiegelman grew the company to 300 employees. The company earned multiple Inc. 500 and Best Places to Work awards for its impressive growth trajectory and strong, positive culture that was built first on truly caring for employees.
Mike Faith is a man who knows he can get things wrong. He tells the story of a time when Zappos founder Tony Hsieh came to Faith with a question. “I’m going to do this shoe thing online. Want to invest?” Faith declined, saying the business would never work.
Faith may have missed an opportunity there, but he missed few others in the early years of his business, Headsets.com. The company was on an exceptional growth path, being named to the Inc. 5000 five times.
Faith describes the culture as chaotic, with growth so fast that team members felt unsettled as they scurried to keep up. The focus was on sales, and the numbers in 2007 had climbed past $30 million.
Then came the recession.
Anese Cavanaugh gets calls from companies all the time, asking her help with creating communications plan, or improving employee feedback. But often, the heart of their problem is actually disengagement: employees are there, but they aren’t really showing up.
Our failure to be fully present in any interaction drains energy from workplaces, makes for inefficient use of time, and can lead to the failure of initiatives. In turn, increasing energy levels by working on focusing personal energy toward the tasks at hand can lead to positive results.
Shinobu Ishizuka of LA-based Dyna-Search helps Japanese companies learn management and leadership strategies from U.S. companies.
At the recent Small Giants Summit, Ishizuka shared two stories that can inform U.S. companies of the way values are changing in Japanese culture and society, and helping companies win in the marketplace: