During the 2015 Small Giants Summit in Dallas, TX, some of the local companies we admire opened their doors for a critical examination from their peers from around the world. Each company conducted a walkthrough to show how they applied their culture and values to the workplace and employee panels discussed how their culture applied at all levels. Company leaders also talked in an open dialogue about what works, what doesn’t, and why.
The following account from Shezad Manjee of DHD Films shares what it’s like to be a company that hosts Small Giants for an intimate conversation about business.
Meeting the Leaders We Admire
Initially, as a first-time host of the Passport Experience, I was very nervous about having so many distinguished leaders come to our studio. But as soon as the bus rolled up, and the attendees started rolling in with their smiles, there was an immediate level of ease. We ate breakfast tacos, chatted about our experiences over the last three days at the Summit, and completed a quick studio tour before heading into the sound stage for the meat of the visit.
From the beginning, attendees were quick to ask questions and share thoughts. We dived into our presentation about the core beliefs and values at DHD Films, and how we apply those to our business.
Learning from Others about Our Own Company
One guest asked, “Why do you wake up and come to work?” If we live in a culture of choice, what is it about what we do that stems our purpose? This developed into a natural conversation about the balance of faith-based beliefs in business. As a group, we concluded that to run a successful business is to work with love. You must love what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. You must love your team and your clients alike, for one doesn’t come without the other.
Through fluid and determined conversation, we were challenged by our guests to further define what truly differentiates our company. It was a fantastic experience to hear other entrepreneurs’ candid ideas and experiences. It was a unique and profound learning experience for me and my team.
After our new friends left the studio, spirited and accompanied by our signature gourmet popcorn, I sat down and started processing all the great advice I gained from them. Can’t wait till the next Summit!
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