CV #6 IMPACT: How IMPACT Turned Its Company Culture Around With a People-First Approach

HOW THEY GOT STARTED (WASN’T SUNSHINE AND ROSES)

IMPACT was founded in 2009 out of Bob’s condo. By the end of January 2015, they had grown to about 32 employees. While on the outside their growth seemed to allude to success, internally, their culture and bottom line were a mess. The short story is that they were growing quickly, with no pre-established purpose or company core values in place, so they did what many companies do—hire on skill, instead of culture fit. They ended up with a bunch of talented people who were going different directions and on top of that, Bob and the rest of the leadership team continued to focus on growth, rather than creating a good place to work. The environment was stressful and chaotic and the team felt overworked. Within 9 months, 17 people left Bob's team and he realized that the businesses’ bottom line was also in jeopardy. Culture became a top priority.

They let go of the folks who didn’t share the core team’s values and started from the beginning. Since then, they’ve made a huge turnaround. Today, they are 53 employees, $6.5M in revenue, and 100% committed to culture. They are highly selective about who they let in their organization (and you’ll get to read all about that in a moment). 

CV #5 D’Artagnan: All For One and One For All

When I arrived at D'Artagnan, the leading purveyor of foie gras, game meat, organic poultry, pâtés, sausages and smoked delicacies in the U.S., it was a sad day.  Co-Founder and CEO, Ariane Daguin, and the company were mourning the loss of celebrity chef and dear friend, Anthony Bourdain.

I share this information because our visit was naturally, more philosophical, than practical. However, the beliefs we discussed are very relevant to our conversation on culture.

And in the funny way that life works, we also got to celebrate new life that day (more on this full-circle moment in the blog).

CV#4 Harpoon: Beer is Fun & People Are At The Center of What We Do

COMPANY AT A GLANCE

Founded: 1986 by three friends, Dan Kenary, Rich Doyle, and George Ligeti, who all loved beer, but couldn’t find what they were looking for in their local pubs. After a trip to Europe and drinking lots of diverse and local beers, they applied for Brewing Permit #001 in the Commonwealth of MA and Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company (known for their Harpoon Beer) was born.

Ownership: 48% ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and the remaining is shared among Company Directors, including Dan Kenary

Employees: 200 full time, 100 part-time, 75 per diem (Tasters, Sales Support) | Revenue: $60 Million in 2017

Core Values: Currently, revising them: 1) People are at the center of what we do. 2)  We challenge each other to be our best. 3) We're proudly independent. 4) Beer is fun.

Mission: Love Beer Love Life

Community: Harpoon Helps- the charitable arm of Harpoon brewery which donates thousands of dollars in swag and beer to New England charities and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars through their brewery fundraising events.

CV #3 McCrea's Candies: No Sweeter Place

COMPANY AT A GLANCE: MCCREA'S CANDIES (pronounced MC-KRAY’s)

Founded: 2010 by Kate & Jason McCrea (wife and husband team) and longtime neighbor, Jim LaFond-Lewis in Hyde Park, MA.

Ownership: 80% Kate and Jason. 10% Jim and 10% employees who worked throughout the early stages of the company.

Mission: To make the best caramels.

Values: While not formalized yet, many of the values are clearly engrained in the culture (more on this later).

Employees:  15 | Revenue: 1.3 million in revenue

Community Matters: McCrea’s partners with a local middle school for their 8th grade internship program. They also run a program to keep Fowl Meadow clean, inviting community members to join while McCrea’s provides the supplies. They also participate as a team in the Neponset River Cleanup each year.

CV #2 Acceleration Partners: Changing The Work/Life Paradigm With a 100% Remote Team

COMPANY AT A GLANCE

Founded: In 2007 by Bob Glazer

Employees: 100  |  2017 Revenue: $9.6 million

Vision: Drive the digital marketing industry to be performance-driven and change the work-life paradigm.

Mission: To lead the performance marketing industry through innovation, respect for the brand, and exceptional client service and superior results.

Values: Own It, Embrace Relationship, and Excel & Improve

Community: 16 hours paid time off to volunteer per quarter. Acceleration Partners also matches employee donations to eligible nonprofits up to $500.

 LET THE TOUR BEGIN

 Having the opportunity to visit Acceleration Partners (AP) was sheer luck. They’re a 100% remote team with various hubs across the U.S. and now, world. Boston is one of them, and when I reached out to Founder & CEO, Bob Glazer, it just so happened that the Boston team was gathering together to volunteer for Build in Boston – a program that uses entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities and propel them to high school, college, and career success.

CV #1 Cambridge Naturals: Wellness In Everything They Do

COMPANY AT A GLANCE: CAMBRIDGE NATURALS

Founded: 1974 by Michael Kanter and Elizabeth Stagl. The store sells bulk herbs, supplements, body care, grocery, and lifestyle products. Located in Cambridge, MA. Opening a second store in the Boston Landing in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston in July!

Ownership: Currently there are four family owners: Michael and Elizabeth (original founders) and second generation owners: Emily Kanter (their daughter) and Caleb Dean (Emily’s husband).

 Mission: To provide the best choices in nutritional supplements for health and wellness, clean body care products and organic foods.

Values: Empathy, Thoughtfulness, Community (local and global), Honesty, Vitality, and Work Hard, Have Fun, & Encourage LaughterLevity (Work hard, have fun, encourage laughter)

Employees: 30 28 Employees |  Revenue: ~5 Million (estimated 2018) 4.4 in 2017

Community: Strive to partner with businesses owned by woman and under-served individuals, serve as a pick up/drop off center for CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture Farms)

Touring with Purpose: An Inside Look Into Companies Who Care

Hi there and thanks for checking out the blog! I am currently sitting at the Detroit airport, about to fly to Boston, city #1 of 10 on my cross-country trip: Touring with Purpose: The Inside Look at Companies Who Care.

For the month of June, my goal is to visit 20+ companies with great work place cultures on the east side of the U.S.  I'll be meeting with purpose-driven CEOs & founders and learning their stories, taking company tours,  and discovering —what specifically about these work environments— makes them great. The purpose of this trip is to learn and to share these discoveries with you —whether you're a values-driven leader looking for practical tips to create a better culture, an employee who works for a company that doesn't have an amazing workplace culture and should, or my mom and dad trying to keep tabs on where I am this month (because I know you will be :)) - this blog is for you.