Note: I wrote this article several weeks ago, knowing that I would still be teaching and speaking in Poland when it was to be published. In response to the recent U.S. election outcomes, the thoughts and feelings that I shared in last week’s article feel even more urgent now than they did then. As my travel schedule slows down a bit in the coming weeks, I will write more about where we might go from here.
In the meantime, perhaps this article and video can be a timely reminder that there are people and companies in the U.S. who are committed to calling forth and supporting the best in others. When you look around you, who can you support and encourage today to step into their greatest potential? What kind of culture can you help create in your family, community, and workplace?
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Just about a year ago, I shared the story of Graphick Dimensions LTD through a Nic Askew film with Lauri Feinsod, the CEO of the company. Back in 2006, with a new management team in place, the company made a very conscious choice to support the personal freedom and human potential of each individual. The company continues to be a model for what a thriving community culture can look like in a business environment. Graphick Dimensions has been recognized as a top company to work for in their region of the southeastern United States, and at the same time, has won awards for its business success.
In a recent weekly mailing, NIc shared a second film, “The Relentless Seeing of People,” featuring the President and CTO of the company, Geo Krieg. Krieg says, “I think that people want the freedom, the support, and the environment that allows them to be more than they expected that they could be.”
In this 9-minute film, Krieg describes the culture that they have built within the company. He explains how it all starts in the interview process when they are hiring a new company member. The interview is designed as a conversation in which the candidate and company are actually interviewing each other. It’s a conversation to get to know one another as who they really are, so that both candidate and company can have a sense of whether or not this is a good fit. Krieg says, “We want to know if you are willing to evolve, to work with others, to support everyone around you, and to grow into the best possible version of you.”
Graphick Dimensions is a 48-year-old company in a very conservative part of the United States that has a diverse population. Geo Krieg explains that they made a conscious choice not to put their focus on the many challenges of the area and of doing business, and instead to experiment and be playful.
They asked themselves: What if we choose to not give energy to the problems? What if, instead, we relentlessly see people in their greatest potential? What if we point at things that are passionate and fun, and we trust people, and we hold space? What will emerge then? Can we demonstrate that you can do things in balance—that you can make good choices for people, the community, the planet, your customers, and the company, so that everyone benefits?
In Krieg’s view, Graphick Dimensions is on an adventure, not knowing always how they’re going to get to where they feel like they are called to be, yet sensing they are on the right path. He believes that if they can create an environment that allows and supports everyone in the company to acknowledge both their personal challenges and opportunities—an environment that makes both work life and family life / personal life better—then everyone is going to win.
In the end, Geo Krieg says, “Why do we do this? It’s just the right thing to do. Why would you withhold that?”
Thanks, Nic Askew and Geo Krieg for sharing your story. And thanks to the people at Graphick Dimensions for showing us what is possible in creating community culture within business. Enjoy the video.
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