One of ENC’s core values is entrepreneurship. What the heck does that mean at our small-but-growing company? ENC is not employee-owned, like King Arthur Flour or New Belgium Brewing Company, although I hope to see the beer at an ENC event.
In his 2/21 article, “8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees” at Inc.com, Jeff Haden said:
The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.
When a key customer’s project is in jeopardy, remarkable employees know without being told there’s a problem and jump in without being asked—even if it’s not their job.
This is what it means to be entrepreneurial at ENC: we each take ownership of opportunities, of projects, of problems (hey, we’re not perfect), and we reach across functions to help our colleagues create and deliver the best possible service to our customers. We operate as if each client’s project is for our personal benefit, because like entrepreneurs, we each take personally the responsibility to create value for our customers.
Last week a team was working late to finish a client’s marketing plan that had a tight deadline. You know who was here working together? The president and project team members to offer thought leadership as well as one of the youngest ENCers, not even assigned to this client’s project, who volunteered to help proofread, make copies and essentially do what she could to get the presentation ready for the next day’s live debut. Everyone acted as if it were his/her own company’s marketing plan. This kind of teamwork and individual ownership for collective results happens all the time here.
And that includes the times when something isn’t working, like a long-time process for trafficking creative work. We have had a few painful mistakes lately. Everyone who relies on that process has come together to own both the issues and the development of a solution.
I’ve seen our president take the meeting notes and jump up to whiteboard the ideas, and I’ve also seen our least experienced team members recognize an issue no one has thought of and take the initiative to highlight it and suggest a solution. That can feel a little risky when you are a less-experienced staff member. But that is exactly what we value: each of us identifying issues and thinking about the best approach as if ENC is our own company, and each client’s need is our own.
Image courtesy of Flickr user luxamart