Taking a break from work always causes me to reflect. On Thursday evening the word “exhilarating” came to mind. We had just wrapped up a celebratory party at work via video conference. They were teasing the person who had bought beer because he had only bought a 6 pack & there were 7 of us. (I am 1500 miles away in Minnesota …but that gives you a sense of how connected we are.) It was suggested that Aaron Newman write a program so they could share their libations with me virtually. That would take Emeril Legasse’s concept of ‘smell-o-vision’ to a new level! (He has a great new show on Planet Green by the way. I have cooking shows on while I work).
One of my goals of this blog is to help people understand the role of a community manager. There is much interest in how companies are utilizing the position & how it can help their company.
Why do I find my work exhilarating?
That can be answered in one sentence: I work in a transparent and flat company that embraces Web 2.0 and allows me to grow & learn on an on-going basis.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘exhilarating’ as:
1 : to make cheerful and excited : enliven, elate
2 : refresh, stimulate
It really isn’t work to me. I love what I do & I do what I love. I recommend that you strive for that too! And if the economic situation has you searching for a new job, this is the perfect opportunity to make that commitment to yourself. Last summer I listened to an interview that Anna Farmery did with Tom Nixon of Nixon McInnes a social media agency with an amazing internal culture. It moved me so much that I had the impulse to contact Tom and tell him that I wanted to work there! But they were in the UK… It gave me the idea though.
Techrigy has an amazing internal culture
Last fall Aaron Newman asked if I’d like to work with him. Many people ask for help & I do what I can. It was apparent fairly quickly that we shared similar values (and are both workaholics). It’s been almost seven months and Thursday found our company celebrating some huge milestones. We are growing at an amazing rate. If you’re going to be at NewComm Forum next week you’ll be the first to hear about the case study of Techrigy & community building for a B2B.
About Techrigy: we’re a B2B (business to business) company & the majority of our customers are agencies that have clients. We live & breathe Web 2.0. Ninety nine percent of our demo’s, training, customer support, marketing, lead generation, etc is all done online through social media. What makes us unique from our competitors is that we offer a free version of our social media monitoring tool for an unlimited time.
Our team has an incredible synergy. Our sales team came from the traditional sales world. I’m impressed with how quickly they immersed themselves in the social media world. And on the flip side they have been teaching me about sales. A customer that I sold to asked me, ‘How does your role fit into sales?’. It’s a fit that’s powerful due to our company’s culture. I’ll be doing a future blog post on how my role fits in the sales funnel. (yes, I’ve been learning new terms)
The joy of flat and transparent
Aaron frequently says this is ‘your company’. If you listen to the interview you’ll hear Tom talk about how employees are informed of everything including the financial state of affairs. That is very empowering in building trust and loyalty. It’s very easy to work in a company that doesn’t have silos and there’s transparency. We practice that within our team and most importantly in our work with our customers. Customer service is our first priority and everyone pulls together to accomplish that. We surprise & delight our customers with support on the weekend. There are many agencies that are working on weekends!
We are adding more staff to accommodate our growth. This will require more processes as we scale to ensure smooth delivery of service. But it doesn’t mean that we need silos or control. We will be adding tools to help us grow. Some companies go in the other direction. A friend emailed me this week saying that his company had blocked Facebook & chat. He thought that Twitter would be next. (He called them ‘corporate Nazis’). In all fairness to him he only chatted infrequently & would say, ‘my break is over I need to get back to work’. So that saddens me that companies don’t trust their employees & recognize the value of social networking. How can they expect trust & loyalty back if they don’t practice it?
I feel this obligation to continually repeat that employers consider allowing staff to work remotely. We are knowledge workers and as Chris Brogan suggests: We can work from coffee shops. Our demo with his team was a bit noisy But he walks his talk!
Quick repeat: Techrigy is located in Rochester, NY. I’m located in northern Minnesota. One of our sales guys works from the Buffalo office (his house) We have customers around the world & time zones need accommodating. (I never can tell when he’s working from home.)
I am so pleased that we have hired two more that will be working remotely! I look forward to meeting them in person next week when I’m in San Francisco, but their training has already started. Web 2.0 truly breaks down the geographical barriers.
I am really thankful to have the opportunity to help shape Techrigy’s future. And I believe that as a team we’re all contributing in our unique ways to achieve a shared vision. It is refreshing to work with people who love what they do.
If you’re in between jobs or seeking a new direction I hope that you can find a cultural fit so that you don’t feel like it’s work. And if your company is embracing social media then I encourage you to join in the internal cultural shift (with little steps) to create an environment where you love going to work.