Author: Jessica Blackstock

Finding patience to play the long game

Thrive turns five this month. Five years of successes. Five years of pivots. Five years of bootstrapping. Five years of failures. It hasn’t always been easy. There have been times when we have made decisions that were short-sighted because we needed the work (in our early years we made websites and managed social media). But the majority of our decisions have been made with the long game in mind.

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Are we all on the same page?

Internal transparency is hard, it is also necessary.

Transparency has been a buzzword in business for decades and everyone has a different idea on how to do it. Hundreds of thousands of books, articles, white papers and blog posts have been written about this topic. And they do a good job of making the case for external transparency toward customers. However, we are more concerned with internal transparency.

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Do you know what a culture analysis is? No – read this. Yes – you should still read this.

When you are a team of four like Thrive it’s relatively easy to keep a finger on the pulse of the company culture. But what do you do when there are 40, 400 or 4,000? You likely survey them, right? But if you’ve never done an internal culture analysis before, you may not know where to start. Not to worry — we have some ideas.

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Six things you need for a human-centered work environment. (Hint: it’s not ping pong tables.)

One of the best pieces of advice we received in our Deep Dive with Victoria and Tiffany of Plum Organics was their recommendation to create human-centered work environments so that the whole person can show up to work and be their true self. The whole self. Not just the professional self. This is not usually the advice we get, right? More often the conversation revolves around separating the personal self from the professional self.

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Do you know your emotional intelligence score?

We’ve all had one: the volatile boss who lashes out over little things. The stressed-out co-worker who is constantly in a crisis. The arrogant customer who consistently makes insensitive comments. What each of these personas lack is a functional level of emotional intelligence. What may be harder to admit is that you are, at times, one of those people.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, acknowledge and manage your own emotions and recognize emotions in others. And high emotional intelligence is directly correlated with how successful you are in both your personal and professional life.

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How a book club can change your business

Zappos famously does this. TriNet and Warby Parker too. Mark Zuckerberg spent a year promoting one on Facebook and Arnie Malham created a whole company around it.

We are talking about the Book Club. But this is not your grandma’s Book Club.

Over the last decade, growing numbers of companies have created employee reading programs. These book clubs are driven by an interest in improving competency, camaraderie, and innovation while helping employees develop systematic reading habits.

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“high/low check-in”

Many companies have identified a set of company values. These are supposed to serve as a North Star and the filter through which you assess everything you do – as individuals and as a team. But a list of values without a system to monitor your alignment with them is a waste. So to ensure that you are living your values and giving yourselves no place to hide, consider doing a “high/low check-in” at the beginning of your weekly staff meetings.

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