Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Outdoor Meetings Rock at Costless Express

It was great to see some of our staff holding a meeting outside today, taking advantage of the last few days of warm sunshine. What's on that flip chart?

We have spent a lot of time over the past year focusing on growth and learning. It seems there is always more to learn from outside sources and each other. Funny how that is??

One of our 10 Core Values is "Learn, Educate, Innovate" and it's our staff that has really embraced the idea of constantly pursuing new ideas and learning. An example of that are monthly sessions we call the "Sweat Box".

How the Sweat Box Sessions work is like this: We gather all our staff and tell them they are all equal shareholders in a company called Costless Express 2.0. There is no Org Chart, processes or departments. We need to walk thru the entire process from when a customer calls until the order is delivered, every step of the way. What happens in the Sweat Box session (about 4 hours) is we create departments, positions, draw out flow and justify everything. What happens is we uncover current systems and processes that are out of date. When you are in new company design mode, the fresh ideas are limitless as long as you can put aside the evil saying "but that's not how we do it here".

There are times when we looked at an old way we were doing something and just start laughing, because we can't believe how obvious it was that the process was so bad, compared to creating a new 2.0 process.

Our Sweat Box Sessions are moderated by Dr. Dave, our company business and personal success coach. As Dave says, "If there isn't any passion in the meetings, there won't be any change." I will admit, there have been a few fist poundings on the table, raised voices and even a few tears by participants during the exercises, but Dr. Dave has a way of making everyone feel positive and energized by the end of what are very long days.

We have held a few sessions to date, with more to come. The last session I wasn't invited to; change needs to come from within, not from the top down, so Dr. Dave decided I should not be present. I'm proud of our staff, we really have a great group and I love seeing those outdoor meetings.