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 concept of a Small Giant can be hard for people to grasp, unless they've experienced a Small Giant - as a customer, partner, or employee.
Bo Burlingham felt it when he first walked into Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI back in 2003 and quickly identified them as the "Coolest Company in America" – which also started his quest to see if there were other companies out there who had the same kind of "business mojo", and eventually led to the book Small Giants.
Being involved with the Small Giants Community has given me the opportunity to interact with some great entrepreneurs. Through sharing our experiences, I have learned a lot about creating a values-based culture, about being a better leader, about having a shared vision and about the importance of community.
Photo: Small Giants Member Nick Sarillo teaches his team about company values.
Eight years ago, when we started Vivayic, we didn’t know much about building a company. We just knew that we had a passion for learning how people learn, and empowering people through learning. At the time, we didn’t think much about how we wanted to operate our business—we just knew we would operate with integrity and a commitment to excellence.