The Small Giants Summit took place in Dallas last week and we were fortunate to be invited to attend by our business associates Hussain and Shezad Manjee at DHD Films. It was a great opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs from all over the U.S. and world. The goal was to gather, share ideas and best practices from other successful small and medium-sized businesses.
To be completely frank, before the conference I had never heard of Small Giants. Some of you may have read Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham. Bo is also the Editor at Large at Inc. Magazine and is involved with the organization. We are not yet members, but I am so grateful we made the time to attend. Hearing other business leaders share experiences of how they build values-driven organizations was life-changing in many ways. They didn’t only speak about the concept but also shared tens of actual examples they apply daily.
Paul Spiegelman leads the organization with the goal to unite like-minded small and medium sized business owners who have made the choice to build a values-driven organization versus one focused solely on growth. Regardless of industry, the goal of the members is to have great “business mojo”.
When you hear a statement like “building a values-driven organization” or “business mojo” for the very first time, you wonder what exactly does that mean?
In a nutshell it’s about having clearly defined values that impact every aspect of your organization. The values are consistent with everything you do. Whether you’re talking about your operation, your employees, your clients or suppliers, you and your employees live by the mission and values making the collective organization great. The companies we visited with ranged from 3 to 23 years in business. Many of their employees were also present and unlike other conferences or business settings I have attended, the room oozed with a desire to share best practices and learnings.
On the last day of the conference we had the opportunity to attend an open house (or as the organization calls it a “passport” event) at Call-Em-All, a company also based in DFW that specializes in messaging services. Brad Hermann’s and Hai Nguyen’s vision, approach and complete openness blew me away. I spent time getting to know many of their employees and it became evident that this approach to business is a win for the company and for the employees. It is possible to be profitable but not at the expense of your employee’s well being.
All in all, everyone I met at the summit had that one commonality: Making a conscious effort to have awesome working environments, living by the values they have established.
I can’t wait to join the Small Giants Organization and adopt many of the great things shared last week. If you are looking for an organization that adds meaning to the way you do business and you genuinely care about building good work culture, check them out at www.smallgiants.org.