More than a Buzz Word

 

by HEATHER JAMES

If you talk to any corporate branding consultant, company culture is paramount. “Corporate culture” is a buzz word that sums up best practices for a firm to define a company’s mission, vision and values, develop people, build trust, think strategically and communicate effectively.

But what does that buzz word – corporate culture – actually mean?

We took a long, hard look at it over the last six to nine months as we invested time, energy and resources in our recent rebranding. What we realized is that we already had a rich corporate culture, it just wasn’t formalized.

Well, now it is.

We redesigned our logo with an intertwined C and J to illustrate we are all connected and relaunched our website. If you click over to the “Who We Are” tab, you’ll learn who we are but also see a few of what we lovingly call our “Canons.” The Canons are old southern sayings that we use to communicate our core values.  When we interview prospective employees it is vital that the candidate align with these core values. While experience is definitely an important factor, we believe that if we find the right people who fit our firm’s culture, we can provide mentors and experience.   As our company continues to grow rapidly it’s paramount to us that we do not lose our identity.  When Kara and I started the company, we did it believing that it could be done better. We still believe that today. 

We assembled our Canons into a yearly book that we share with our employees. Our goal is for this to be a living, breathing document that continues to grow with the company.  In this way, we believe we can always be authentic to the values that have been core to Cook & James from our inception, yet still make room for our employees to teach us something new. This is more than lip service for us. These values are what makes us unique.

If you take that long, hard look at our “corporate culture,” it’s beyond the fact that we have the technology and secure portals that allow employees the flexibility to work occasionally from home. It’s more than our outstanding employee package of vacation, benefits, bonuses and recognition for excellence. It’s beyond the fact that we stay current in our industry and share our thought leadership. It’s even more than the fact that we maintain a robust training library and routinely challenge team members with rich professional development opportunities.  It is our value system that permeates everything that we do.

It’s what we believe makes Cook & James not only a great place to work, but a great place to do life.

~ Heather

 
Heather James