Join Earl Foote of Nexus IT as he dives into an insightful conversation with Greg Trimble, the founder of Lemonade Stand Digital Marketing Agency, and his dedicated partner, Derek Miner. Together, they unravel the fabric of company culture and share their experiences with building companies that love and serve their teams, clients, and communities.
Lemonade Stand is an Inc 5000 business and one of the fastest-growing website and marketing agencies in the US. Both Greg and Derek have founded or been on the leadership team of companies that have made Inc 5000 and 500 lists. If anyone knows how to build a successful business, it’s these two!
Many people think company culture is just something they can learn from a chapter in a business book or during the occasional team retreat. In reality, culture is a living and changing thing that needs constant attention.
Whether by design or default, every company has a culture. The challenge lies in being intentional about crafting this culture. Merely pinning core values on a wall or mentioning them during team meetings doesn’t cut it. These values should be the guardrails of the business, guiding actions and decisions, and steering the company towards its envisioned peak.
One of the most effective ways to strengthen this culture is through the hiring process. At Lemonade Stand, members of the leadership team are on every final interview. If someone’s core values don’t align with the company’s, that’s okay. They’ll find a company that fits them better and where they’ll be able to do their best work.
Safety and trust form the bedrock of thriving, high-performing teams. Safety in business refers to a team environment where individuals feel secure enough to take risks, voice their opinions, and admit mistakes without fear of punishment or humiliation. This sense of security is inextricably linked with trust.
Derek claims that culture is all about how people show up for one another. When team members know that their coworkers have their back, they don’t need to protect themselves. Instead, the focus shifts to creating something great together.
Trust in a team context means believing that colleagues will act in the team’s best interests, respect their contributions, and offer support when needed. When safety and trust coexist, they foster an atmosphere of open communication, innovation, and collaboration.
Employees are more willing to share ideas, challenge the status quo, and learn from failures, knowing that their team values their perspectives and will not penalize them for taking initiative.
The best way to establish safety and trust is through the leadership team. Every single team member needs to see that upper management trusts and respects one another. This example will set the tone for how coworkers treat and interact with one another.
At the heart of their discussion was a truth many business leaders often overlook: company culture is constantly being tested, especially during challenging times. While it might be convenient to flaunt values during periods of prosperity, it’s in adversity where these values are genuinely put to the test.
Greg and Derek believe that an accurate measure of a company’s culture is not found in boardroom presentations or marketing materials but in the experiences of those who interact with your team. This interaction, whether it be with a client or a partner, provides the most authentic feedback loop.
Some business leaders might think, “Culture is great, but does it tangibly impact business outcomes?” Greg claims that a potential client can get a sense of company culture from the very first contact. When they see a team that loves what it does, cares for its clients, and is genuinely interested in making an impact, the outcome is usually positive.
Both leaders often share, “Do what you say, say what you mean.” If you strive to have the best customer service, go the extra mile and treat your clients like friends instead of transactions.
The takeaway from this episode of the podcast? Company culture isn’t something you can learn or copy—it’s an experience your employees have every day when interacting with their team and clients. It’s worth investing in and actively crafting so that your teams work hard and your clients keep coming back. The benefits are well worth it!
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