It's a hot summer night in late August, and the bugs are furiously buzzing around the tall, bright, stadium lights of the Little League baseball field. The vibrant green grass of the outfield is set against the black backdrop of the night sky as red dust from the infield still lingers in the air from the seven inning battle that just ensued. Along the third base line, two rows of ten year old boys squeeze in a horizontal line together and hoist up a large metal trophy for the final championship picture. Covered in dirt and grass stains, their arms drape over one another as they smile ear to ear, relishing in their victory. Through a long season of highs and lows, wins and losses, and homeruns and strikeouts, they did it. They won the ultimate prize. The best part? They had fun through it all.
The idea is so simple. A group of individuals, unequivocally passionate about their duties, dedicated to each other and their team, motivated by the end goal of reaching their highest potential both individually and as team, and, of course, having fun while they do it. These fundamentally simple concepts that are learned and adapted by Little Leaguers are many of the same concepts organizations attempt to instill in their business culture every day.
Thanks to continually immerging new information on organizational behavior in the workplace (Jim Collins' "Good to Great" is a great place to start), businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of their organizations values, vision, beliefs, and traditions. Companies such as Google have become trend setters in the way they promote a casual, democratic atmosphere supplemented with numerous amenities (massage chairs, social clubs, games, cafes, and more) that aim to keep workers stress free, happy, and ultimately more productive.
Having worked for businesses with dramatically different cultures in my professional career, I have seen a direct correlation between the health of an organization's culture and its production and growth. So when it came time for me to change career directions, it became my mission not only to join an organization were my skills could best be utilized, but to find a place that was highly conscious and invested in its culture. I knew that if a company had a sound business culture, it more than likely had a bright, productive future and a healthy environment that promoted intellectual freedom, growth, and prosperity.
With my standards and expectations established, I set out on the winding, arduous journey of finding a new place of work and starting a new career. Upon each meeting or interview, I asked potential employers to "tell me about the culture of your organization" as a "check of the pulse" question that quickly helped me gauge whether the company was a good fit for me or not. Most of the answers I received addressed ideas like the "pace" or "speed" at which employees had to work, office rules, the need to be self-reliant, morality, accountability, and even dress code. While these aspects of an organization's culture can certainly be important, they didn't speak to the true core values and philosophies that I felt were the pillars of a truly successful organization.
After a number of informative but uninspiring meetings and interviews, I met with Eric Tobias at iGoDigital. The time came for me to ask about iGoDigital's culture. To my surprise, Eric smiled as if he were actually excited to respond to the same question that so many had answered either with hesitation or disinterest. Eric began to convey ideas of teamwork, creativity, passion, entrepreneurialism, curiosity, growth, openness, and (here comes that word again…) fun. This was it! I had finally found an organization that not only was deeply passionate about their culture, but matched my unrealistically high, "google-esque" expectations of what good business culture could and should be; expectations that are rooted in my experience that a healthy culture equates to a healthy business with a bright future.
It’s been one week since I joined the iGoDigital team and I can honestly say the culture is more impressive than I expected. iGoDigital's core values don't just exist as some generic written set of bylaws or commandments that sound “cool” and “innovative”. It's something that can truly be felt and experienced every day. I feel the drive and passion that motivates people to focus and work hard without being reminded to do so. Even as “the new guy,” I feel the genuine encouragement from everyone to be creative and contribute new ideas and perspectives. I feel the honest commitment employees have to each other, their customers, and the company. Most importantly, I feel as if I'm 10 years old again, playing on my championship Little League team, and having the time of my life.
This is why I joined iGoDigital.