Managing People at a Growing Creative Agency

I have the privilege of working with a great team of people, and our team is growing. One of my concerns at this time is that I don’t want to lose the feeling of family, of respect and the individual understanding of what we are trying to do here at Function Point. To that end, I was speaking with my mentor, Susan Eick, about how I want to be very protective of our culture as we change, and that I want to build a high performance team where everyone understands the importance of their role and what they do as a member of the team.

Susan put me in touch with a good friend of hers, Chris LaVictoire Mahai, who is an owner/partner at Aveus, a change management consulting firm based in Saint Paul, MN.  When I read the “What We Do” section on their Website, which positions their firm as making complex challenges doable, I was really interested in speaking with Chris about my issues.

Chris nailed down my concern and identified three main issues.

  1. How do we best integrate new hires with our current talent?
  2. How will growth change the culture? What do we want to preserve and what are we prepared to evolve?
  3. How do we prepare for the changes that come from diversity and a broader array of activity?

Great questions! I am fully committed to each individual at fp. and our company culture. It is a major component that separates us from our competition.  So I turn my thoughts to addressing this, and frankly I feel really great about the work I have been focused on for the last three years.

Let me explain.

In 2010 I joined a local mentoring organization, ACETECH. They are about helping CEO’s grow revenue. ACETECH has brought many strategic and tactical practices to Function Point. The most effective has been the Rockefeller Habits and the implementation of the one page plan.  With us now being 3 years into this, these “habits” are fully engrained into our daily lives at the office.  Our weekly, quarterly and yearly rocks are laid out and we are measuring ourselves against our performance.

Embracing the Rockefeller habits has been a catalyst in building our high performance team.  That is, if we had not done this, we would not have been nearly as prepared to grow the team in the manner that we have.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Last summer we engaged the services of a business coach. Roberto, from the Difference Engine has been working with our team to help us understand and work through the psychology of change, the dynamics of always trying to improve, and how each of us contributes to our high performance organization.

This work crosses all cultural and environmental aspects of fp. and includes the communication of our mission, our vision, and the continuous engagement of each person on our team. We have been speaking of ensuring that everyone is fully present in all things Function Point. That team members have time to work on the job rather than just in the day-to-day requirements of the job, and that we lower our levels of tolerance such that we can stay focused on what is important. No bullshit, but lots of fun!

We are learning to brainstorm ideas, get focused on desired outcomes, engage in sharing our intentions and points of view, and explore how competing opinions can result in better outcomes.

We are investigating root causes associated with unexpected and undesired outcomes, and in doing so we are able to stay fully present in what we are doing  and in alignment with our mission.  People are positive, respectful and very supportive of each other.

Lastly, we are learning to think of our environment from a perspective of Abundance. That we are in a fun place to work where we don’t have to feel overwhelmed, where we are given time to do the job correctly, and where we feel supported in our decision making processes.

This change has been absolutely fantastic.

Through living our mission of the “Best Day Ever” we are coming from a place of abundance where ideas are respected, people want to work with us, and each of us truly feel as though we are “creating” something of true value on a daily basis for those we serve.

There is that word “Serve”….  Whenever I think about service, team and customer satisfaction, I get excited and that is what motivates me to being fully present.

Comments or thoughts are always welcome.

Chris Wilson (CEO)
604.731.2522 x224

Chris Wilson, Leanne Steer and Tate Lillies – part of Function Point’s team!

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