Why Won’t Cross-Sectional Teams Adopt Change? The Technology Adoption Lifecycle.

By starting a fire and carefully kindling it, you can roll out a change at your firm with much less effort.

Let’s say you have a change coming up for your users. It could be something practical, like an update to your billing system. You’ve already decided that this change is worth it: decreasing missed revenue and speeding up accurate billing reports. But the update will require your users to work in a different way. Do you dread holding everyone’s hand through the roll-out? Why can’t your users just follow your instructions? Will this take more effort than it has to? How can you make this easier on everyone, not the least you?

Take a moment aside to think of your most troublesome user. How do they react when posed with a change? Now think about the user who picks up changes faster than you think is prudent. How are they different? Who else resists change or eagerly pounces on it? More than likely, your users’ perspectives on change reflect deep personality traits. Do you consider these traits when you roll out a change?

This gets at an idea called the technology adoption life-cycle. In the late 1950’s, Joe Bolen, George Beal, and Everett Rogers at Iowa State University researched how farmers adopt new ideas. They called it the diffusion process. If you think farmers are nothing like you, think again–they cultivate an investment today or go hungry tomorrow. Later, researchers identified five distinct personality profiles shared by major groups and determined that members look most strongly within their group for ideas to adopt:

  1. Innovators: Enthusiasts
  2. Early Adopters: Visionaries
  3. Early Majority: Pragmatists
  4. Late Majority: Conservatives
  5. Laggards: Skeptics

Think of a bell curve across these groups to grasp the portions. In the early 1990’s, Geoffrey A. Moore developed this idea further within startups in a book called Crossing the Chasm. It remains a useful text, even if you can’t recall the examples. He focused on discontinuous changes – those that cause people to alter their behavior, like your billing system update.

Technology-Adoption-Lifecycle

I believe that you can apply this model to shorten the time it takes to get your firm on board with changes being implemented. How? By speaking differently to the concerns of each group.

If you don’t answer my questions first, I’m not receptive to the rest of your ideas. But if you address my needs, I’ll listen further.

Imagine being each of the people below:

  • Innovators: Tech Enthusiasts
    • Volunteers to try out new tools; gives detailed feedback even if the tools aren’t ready
    • Wants: the truth with no tricks, to be the first, affirmation that their feedback is used, and support from a tech expert
    • Usually lacks buying power; price should be someone else’s concern
    • Let them play
  • Early Adopters: Visionaries
    • Driven by a dream of change: a business goal, not a tech goal
    • Driven by personal recognition; will move to the next project quickly
    • Willing to act as a visible reference on first-time projects
    • Least concerned with price, since this is just the tip of the iceberg
    • Hard to please since they’re buying a dream; manage their expectations
    • Overlooked as a source of seed funding
    • Paint a picture
  • Early Majority: Pragmatists
    • Values productivity: incremental, measurable, predictable business progress
    • In it for the long haul
    • “Pioneers are people with arrows in their back”, “let somebody else fix your change”
    • Will pay for service, quality, support, integration, standards, and reliability
    • Show how you can improve their day
  • Late Majority: Conservatives
    • Prefers tradition to progress; stick with things that work
    • Change should be simple, cheap, and not an interruption
    • Point out pragmatists who didn’t get stung
  • Laggards: Skeptics
    • Only blocks change; isolate them
    • Doubts that the change will bring the promised returns
    • Neutralize them with the big picture gain for your whole firm, not just this change
    • Fortunately, few in number

Go at them one at a time. Some groups influence others and you can use this influence to build a beachhead, getting strong adoption among innovators and then moving on to the next group, early adopters. Word of mouth from pragmatists may amplify your message to conservatives. You can build momentum and get more for your scarce time.

If it works for the person I respect, it will work for me.

So, where do you begin? Show your change to innovators at your firm, first. Let them work it out in practice. Avoid teams made of cross-sections of your entire firm, since the negative comments from laggards will sink your idea. Go in phases–form a pilot group of innovators and perfect your idea then, paint a picture of your vision to early adopters. They’re thirsty for change.

There will come a point when you’re ready to jump to the mainstream with pragmatists, but remember, they won’t value change for its own sake like the early adopters. Instead, they’ll invest in productivity gains. So focus on the early majority one small team at a time with overwhelming service. Their positive reviews will mean something to the late majority too. And just let go of the laggards, like the wisdom of the old serenity prayer. Provided you’ve done your work with the innovators, early adopters, and conservatives, the laggards will no longer have the power or influence to derail the changes you’re implementing.

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Improving Company Culture or Why You Should Start “Taco Thursday”

If you know anything about Algonquin Studios, you know that we have a deep-rooted love of food.  It seems to be something that really stands out when describing our company culture (heck, even our monthly F.E.A.S.T. was explained to me in my initial job interview).  I’d been thinking we should keep the food ball rolling, and when a local brewery tweeted “Today is Taco Tuesday,” my gears started turning… Why not have our own taco day here at Algonquin?  After all, who doesn’t love tacos?

So, I pulled the trigger and composed an e-mail to my coworkers presenting the idea, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I proposed a build-your-own taco bar, allowing each person to pick and choose the toppings they want. Everyone who eats chips in for the day’s ingredients and we all seem to agree that $3 for lunch is a relative steal compared to lunch elsewhere downtown.

Our first Taco Thursday was an overall a success. Each person seemed to be happy with the lunch received and I was encouraged by all to do it again. Over the following weeks, we’ve had our ups (shredded pork, with leftovers to boot) and downs (cubed chicken, which we ran out of before everyone was served) but, for the most part, it has been a terrific undertaking and it’s quite easy, not very much work ever goes in to the preparation.  If you’re looking to boost your company culture, and enjoy some fantastic Tex-Mex as well, you should consider hosting your own!

Taco Fixin's

In case you do decide to start making tacos for your beloved coworkers, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned from experience:

  • Collect money BEFORE you get your final count of how many are eating.  Unforeseen circumstances can prevent people from showing up, causing you to eat the cost of their meal.
  • Buy more food than you think you need. My biggest mishap to date was running out of chicken before each person had eaten their first plate – it’s better to have too much (and leftovers!) than too little.
  • Shop at wholesale stores. Ingredients in bulk (cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, etc.) are ridiculously cheap there compared to grocery stores.
  • Prepare as much as possible at home.  For example, I cook and drain the ground beef at home – the next day, I place it on the stove top with taco seasoning and water and let it slow cook until lunch is served.
  • Rotate ingredients. Try to change things up, whether it’s your protein, salsa, toppings, etc. And additions like rice and black beans help stretch the total number of tacos that can be enjoyed – use them!
  • Don’t be afraid to turn people away if necessary. You can only cook so much food and it’s better to let people know right away if there won’t be enough for latecomers.

As cliche as it sounds, Algonquin Studios is a tight-knit family, and we’re constantly thinking of ways to bring our family together.  If you think your company could benefit by a weekly social gathering, why not try your hand at Taco Thursday as well?  Remember, there’s no such thing as too much employee morale – one of the reasons my co-workers love working here is because it’s flat out a good time, and being able to spend quality time with one another is just one of the many reasons why.

Feel free to leave a comment if you think this may be something you are interested in trying! I’d be more than happy to answer any questions or offer advice. Taco Thursday has been a marvelous experience and has helped further strengthen our company culture – nothing says togetherness like co-workers laughing and stuffing their faces with tacos.  ¡Olé!

The Brand Called You – Growing Professionally

Back in 1997, Tom Peters authored an article titled The Brand Called You for Fast Company magazine. I first read the article in 2005, and while I didn’t (and still don’t) agree with everything in it, it contains plenty of valuable career advice to consider. I recently re-read it and humbly suggest a few more strategies:

Grow Your Web Identity

The place most people will go to find more information about you will be the web, especially if you’re in the IT field. Set-up a LinkedIn profile and get connected to people who you befriended during school and your career. Don’t go overboard filling in every professional detail (that’s what your resume is for), or spamming requests to everyone you’ve ever met. I like to think of my LinkedIn contacts as people who would know who I am if my name came up in conversation.

Use Twitter as a way to keep a pulse check on the professionals that you may or may not know, projects or groups of interest, and local events related to your field. Feel free to use it as a way to broadcast things you’re currently up to — blog posts you’ve written, things you’re working on, events you’re attending, etc. I recommend adding a touch of personality to your tweets. Don’t be unprofessional, but don’t be boring either. Be sure to voice your opinion on current topics and trends that you care about.

Be a “Something” Expert

What’s your competitive advantage? Find something that interests you, and become a knowledge expert on it. Maybe it’s integrated marketing, database performance tuning, quality assurance, or Salesforce. Immerse yourself in it. Know the options, and be able to list the pros and cons for each of them. Get involved in conversations and share your knowledge. Ideally you’ll be able to apply your expertise in your current organization, but if not, that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions on ways to improve current processes or procedures related to your knowledge area, and don’t be discouraged if you encounter resistance either. If you present your ideas in a clear manner and validate your claims with good evidence, you’ve done your part.

Be a “People Person”

I feel like people skills are becoming a lost art these days. Our society has become accustomed to communication through text message, email, or instant chat conversations. When trying to validate a claim, keep a project on track, or get the nitty-gritty details ironed out on something, I still believe the best way to do it is in person. If that’s not an option, you should at least pick up the phone and hash out the details with a conference call. And even though everyone’s busy these days, carve out some time to drop a “Hi, how is everything going?” now and then. Don’t limit this to clients — your co-workers and contacts matter too. Human interaction will always be more meaningful than digital communication.

Stay Current

Things change–quickly. You should do your best to stay current in your field. It’s not reasonable to expect to be an expert on every new topic or trend, but you should at least be aware of them. In addition to the updates I find on Twitter, I devote time daily to scanning through information technology articles and blog posts just to keep abreast of new tools and trends. My goal isn’t to know everything about everything, it’s to know where I can find more information about something should I need to. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dive into something new every once-in-a-while, too.

Remember…

Ultimately, your growth as a professional in your field is your responsibility. Make the best of your opportunities, and continue to nurture your career by embracing change and improving your skill sets. Make yourself more valuable by strengthening what makes you unique compared to your peers.

Applying the Four H’s in Business and in Life

One of the things I like most about working here at Algonquin Studios is the fact that the company has a set of guiding principles “The Four H’s” – Honor, Honesty, Humility, and Humor, that I can I can apply to both my job performance and my personal life.

Honor

As receptionist for Algonquin, I try to incorporate honor into my job every day and, since answering the phone here is a large part of my job, many of my client interactions take place over the phone. I always do my best to really listen to my caller and ask questions to determine what it is they need and who they need to speak to. If the person they’re asking for is unavailable, I often ask if they’d like to speak with someone else, rather than just putting them through to voicemail. When I get a call and the caller seems stressed, I often acknowledge this fact and assure them that I’m committed to finding someone to help them as soon as possible. These might seem like little things, and really, they’re pretty basic ideas for someone trying to be a good receptionist, but it’s often the little things that get taken for granted or pushed to the side during the course of business. I try hard to honor our clients by keeping my level of service high and acting as a means of real assistance for them.

As a receptionist, I know first-hand, that people in service industries often “get lost in the shuffle” of our daily busy lives. I like to acknowledge that I appreciate what the people who serve me do, whether it’s my morning bus driver or my coffee barista. I try to honor these people on a daily basis as well, taking off my ear-buds to say “good morning” to my driver or thanking my coffee shop employee by name when picking up my daily latte.You never know when a genuine “thank you” or “good job” is going to boost that person’s mood or even change their entire day!

Honesty

As the Algonquin web site states, the truth isn’t always popular, but it is respected. Isn’t that the truth? When dealing with our clients and my co-workers, if I don’t know the answer to a question, I strive to be honest about it… Even if I feel foolish at the time. I might not know why our latest office supply order is short, where our CEO is at the exact moment an important client calls, or how to best format an Excel file for a large printing job but I can do my best to find out and, if I’m honest about the steps I’ll take to do so, I know it will reflect well on me in the long run.

Of course, it’s difficult to be honest all the time, especially in “real life.” Confrontations can occur, feelings can get hurt, and relationships can be damaged when you try to tell people things they may not want to hear. I was recently given some great advice, “If you know you’re correct and are being honest, even if what you’re saying isn’t what the other person wishes to hear, then you shouldn’t lose confidence in yourself.” I’m still working on applying this to my personal life but I think it’s a good idea to apply some of our next “H” to the equation, too.

Humility

Humility is an important part of honesty, especially when emotions are at risk. As mentioned on our site, surely, somewhere in the world, someone else has discovered a better, faster, cheaper way. No matter how “right” you know you are, remembering that there are always other valid ideas, opinions, and beliefs at play is key to maintaining healthy, respectful relationships, both at work and at home.

It’s also important to remember that you can’t get very far in this world without the help and guidance of other people. Part of being humble is being thankful for the help others provide along the way acknowledging their assistance whenever you can.Thanking someone sincerely for what they do goes a long way, even when completion of the task is expected or part of their job duties.

Humor

I have to admit, humor is my favorite “H”. Laughter is such an essential part of our day here at Algonquin, I see it in the constant joking heard among my co-workers on any given day, and it’s a huge part of why I like coming to work every day. We’re like a family here and our collective sense of humor provides a bond that goes a long way in making us feel that way.

Humor lightens situations, helps us remember not to “sweat the small stuff,” and creates bonds. Often, our most treasured memories are of times of laughter and jokes. Laughter is unifying and finding things to laugh about-with co-workers,  family, and friends-can only serve to bring us closer together whether we’re working together on a client project or trying to agree on a movie on a Friday night.

Learning about the Four H’s when I first joined the Algonquin team last year gave me a new perspective on my interactions with people in both my professional life and my personal one. Applying the H’s every day, during every interaction, isn’t always easy but I believe that making a concerted effort makes me a better employee and a better person. And I’m pretty happy to have an opportunity to apply myself to both!

How To Train Your Newbie

I’m sure that most managers can agree that giving thorough training to new employees is critical but where they might differ is in the methodology used to implement that training. While some companies prefer to implement rigorous training programs, others have new hires simply shadow existing employees (unfortunately, a Rocky-style training montage isn’t an option for most organizations). But, regardless of the methods employed, training for a technical position requires a great deal of learning over a long time period. There are several things I believe can help improve the learning process, so I’ve compiled a short list of the things that especially benefited me during my ramp-up period at Algonquin Studios. Take a look to see if they can help you get the most out of the time training your new employees, as well:

Encourage The Writing And Use Of Documentation

Most companies have a detailed knowledge base available. Not only are these articles great for assisting customers with issues, they also provide a great tool to beginners.  Seeking answers to their questions from other employees is a good thing, but finding the answer themselves by doing some knowledge base research might be even better. New employees should also be encouraged to write their own articles, as the things they write will stick with them better than things they simply read through. If they have a question that isn’t explained in any existing documentation, it’s probably a good idea for them to write it up!

Teach In The Way That Works Best For The Employee

Some people, myself included, are visual learners. It’s much easier for me to grasp a new concept by viewing diagrams and reading instructions than it is for me to absorb verbal directions from a teacher. Talk to your new employee and find out how they prefer to learn;  while it’s important to be flexible and able to learn in multiple ways, it’s also important to provide people with an efficient and effective way to teach learn new concepts.

Offer Help, Even If They Haven’t Asked For It

Being the new person at a job can be stressful and stress might cause them to be hesitant to ask for help when they need it. Regularly check in and offer to help them, either by explaining something they don’t understand or reinforcing their training with some helpful examples or advice. The voice of experience from a willing and generous teacher can foster increased confidence in newbies.

Make Sure They Don’t Get “Too Comfortable”

This can sound a bit harsh but people learn new skills the fastest when they don’t become complacent. While it’s never good to completely overwhelm someone and cause them to break down from the stress, a little fire under them will keep them moving in the right direction. Gauge their progress, making sure that when they become familiar with basic tasks they’re assigned more advanced ones quickly.

Give Criticism When Warranted

It can definitely be tough to hand out criticism but it’s crucial to making sure first-time mistakes don’t become permanent habits. Remember that the point of constructive criticism isn’t to demean and punish, so it should always be done with respect. While it was never fun for me to be told where my work could use improvement, it gave me a clear goal of what was expected of me and I am better today for it.

And on the opposite side of that…

Recognize When They’re Doing a Great Job

Everyone wants to feel as if they are succeeding; positive reinforcement can go a long way towards motivating people to continue learning. Not only does this keep spirits high, it helps create a comfortable working environment and friendly company culture. Make sure your new employees know when they’re getting it right!

How does the on-boarding/training process work at your company? What are the similarities between my list and yours? Feel free to leave a comment below with any great new employee training ideas you use!

Learning on the Job

I’ve been the receptionist here at Algonquin Studios for more than six months now and I have to say, working at a technology company when you don’t have the same level of technical knowledge and understanding as your co-workers can prove to be pretty challenging.  Fortunately, it can easily be informative and rewarding as well!

If you’re at all like me, you’ve experienced the complete confusion of overhearing a conversation and not understanding a single aspect of it. Obviously, at a company that develops custom software and web sites many of my fellow employees discuss their code and designs frequently, and although I sometimes get lucky with lunchtime discussions that revolve around the most recent Bills game, fantasy football, or the NHL lockout, I often feel lost just listening to them when the topics veer back to HTML, database design, or requirements analysis. And, of course, technologies are always changing, so as soon as I think I might  have a good grasp on something, it changes, or gets “improved,” and I feel like I’m back at square one.

But, the flip side of this coin is that for all of my confusion there’s an opportunity to learn.

One of the best things about Algonquin Studios is that it’s a company of technology consultants. While I’m certainly a competent computer user – I can download music, install new hardware and software, and surf the internet with confidence, knowing I’m not going to get a virus – working with developers and designers who spend their days, not just staring at a screen, but actually interacting with our clients, having real conversations with them, asking the questions that get to the root of their problems, and then buckling down to develop the right solution for that problem, means that I’m in the enviable position to pick the brains of people who can really break things down for me and explain them clearly and simply. I can ask questions about things I don’t understand and gain better understanding of constantly evolving technologies. And, since I’m a pretty fast learner and I like being able to share new things with others, I enjoy being able to take the knowledge I gain here and pass on to my family and friends.

I think it’s important to remember to keep an open mind, not just about new technologies but also about your own ability to understand them and use them in your daily life. And it’s equally important to find people who are willing teachers. Fortunately, at Algonquin Studios, my inquisitive spirit is complemented by a group of really helpful technology experts!

 

Top 10 Reasons Why My Team and I Keep Coming Back to Work

Everybody has reasons for showing up to work everyday besides the nice piece of paper you receive every other week with a bunch of numbers on it, otherwise known as a paycheck. I recently spoke with my fellow Software Support team members and, together, we came up with a list of our Top Ten reasons why we keep coming back:

  1. We actually enjoy the people that we work with! We don’t just sit here and stare at our computer screens waiting for a phone call or email to come in; we interact with our coworkers to make our work environment enjoyable. Of course, we have to balance our interactions well, in order to make sure we get all of our work done in a timely manner and that all our clients are happy but we have a good time at work. That’s really important.
  2. If we don’t know the answer to a question, we can ask anybody that we feel might, even if that person is the CEO or President of the company. Having access to people at all levels of the company not only makes us feel like we’re part of a real team, it also means we’re always learning and growing.
  3. We love receiving phone calls from our clients, who are a joy to talk to and who always brighten our day.
  4. We actually enjoy digging into reported issues, figuring out why they occurred so that they can be prevented in the future. Knowing that the work we do helps make a better product for our clients is incredibly rewarding, in and of itself!
  5. That one Friday a month where we have a F.E.A.S.T. of food.
  6. We love helping to develop the new features that will make the lives of our clients easier and enable them to work more efficiently.
  7. And, we get a sneak peak at all those new features once they’re ready to be rolled out to clients! Part of our job is to test those new features, making sure they work as designed and that they don’t have adverse effects on existing items in current applications.
  8. We love the feeling we get when we’ve helped a client who called in with a support issue and she hangs up happy, because we were able to solve the issue and send her on her way. Even when the solution isn’t an immediate one, knowing that we have a team of support reps and developers looking into the issue helps us feel confident that we’ll be able to follow up with more information and the client will be happy very soon!
  9. We enjoy contributing to the Knowledge Base Articles we use when we come across questions or issues that we haven’t dealt with before. Chances are, somebody on our team has walked through the problem before and the Knowledge Base provides us another option to get to the root of the issue and help our clients solve it.
  10. The candy machine that sits on my desk. It’s just what it sounds like-people stop by my desk throughout the day feeding their pennies (or other change) into the machine and getting back a few pieces of candy to make them smile. I think candy machines make everybody feel like a little kid who just hit the jackpot.

What are the greatest perks about your job or the company you work for?

Training Disguised…

When I interviewed for my position at Algonquin Studios, I remember asking what my interviewers particularly enjoyed about working here.  The things they both immediately mentioned were “Meet & Eats” and “F.E.A.S.T.”  It was the first time I’d gotten a food-related response to that question and it definitely got me thinking.

After I started here and I got my calendar request for Meet & Eat, my curiousity about what the event would involve continued to grow and I really started looking forward to my first experience.  Sadly, it was canceled for a reason I don’t remember so I waited impatiently for the next one.

Meet & Eats are training sessions, with an Algonquin Studios twist. These aren’t your “normal” training sessions, where you sit in a too-brightly lit conference room and listen to some guy who says he’s an expert drone on for an hour or two in a monotone voice. These are sessions taught in an informal setting, by peers who share their knowledge with their coworkers in an effort to make everyone better at what we do here at Algonquin.

Presenters are notified a day in advance that they’ll be presenting to the group and projects are picked because a Development Manager believes there’s something particulalry interesting or informative to be shared. On the day of a Meet & Eat, the rest of the Development team pulls up a chair or bean bag in the common area of the office as the presenter covers all aspects of their project and discusses how they overcame any hurdles they experienced. The informal nature of the sessions means everyone is able to ask questions at any point and people can jump in if they have something to add. During almost every session, you hear somebody say “I didn’t know you could do that!” or “Wow, that way is so much easier!” No matter what their title or role is at Algonquin, everyone stands to learn something from each Meet & Eat.

Continuing our theme of food as a uniting factor in our corporate culture here at Algonquin, after the presentation is finished we all head over to the kitchen to experience the “Eat” part of the session. “Eat” allows our whole team to get together and continue discussing what was reviewed during “Meet” over a variety of local foods-specialty pizzas, chicken wings, even a taco bar set up by a Mexican restaurant!

When I think about the benefits our Meet & Eats bring to Algonquin Studios and the employees here, I have to think about them as being more than just “educational” in nature. An event like this goes beyond what you see on the surface, it’s also about everything you can’t see-the relationships formed between the people who have to develop a presentation in one short business day, the confidence and experience the presenters gain as the discuss their projects and gather feedback from fellow employees and managers, and the relationships formed between employees munching away during the “Eat” portion of the day.

Does your organization have any informal educational events or session similar to our Meet & Eats? What sort of value do you think sessions like these can bring to the organization as a whole and employees as individuals?

I, personally, can’t wait till next month’s Meet & Eat to see who the lucky presenter will be and what delicious spread we will be indulging in!

Togetherness Through Tastiness: How Food Unites Us

Author: Jeff Hensel     11-03-2011

There’s a lot of unfamiliarity about working at a new company-new names and faces to remember, new responsibilities, and of course, the unshakable feeling of being the newbie in the office. Regardless of how welcoming your co-workers are, it’s difficult not to feel a bit out of place at first. For me, however, that feeling quickly dissipated, as just a few short weeks into my employment at Algonquin Studios, my first F.E.A.S.T. (Food Enthusiasts for Algonquin Studios Togetherness) was announced. The idea behind F.E.A.S.T. is simple, people vote on a theme and everyone cooks a dish that fits the theme. I saw this as a chance to really bond with my fellow co-workers, as I consider myself a bit of a foodie and food is always something I’m eager to discuss.

E-mails were shot back and forth discussing possible ideas, but it was quickly settled that the theme for the month would be “pumpkin.” It didn’t take long to figure out just how serious my co-workers took food, making dishes like pumpkin-stuffed ravioli and pumpkin-cranberry-walnut muffins. I decided I would do a pairing of pumpkin and sausage in the form of a soup, not willing to risk making a fool of myself in my first month by completely butchering something unfamiliar.

While we’re encouraged to do prep work for each dish at home (Algonquin is still a business, after all), there’s always a good amount of cooking that needs to be done “day of” before everyone can eat. Thanks to our full, in-office kitchen, employees are able to spend a decent amount of time cooking together, a wonderful way to interact with our co-workers on something other than work. The bonding experience cannot be overstated; it gave me an opportunity to meet John, now my good friend, over a topic that we were both familiar with. It made sharing our food-related past easy, and gave us a chance to get to know each other in a way that we might not have otherwise. Eating the finished product with the rest of the company is an absolute delight, as well.

People say the hardest thing about working anywhere is getting along with everyone. At Algonquin Studios, this has certainly not been the case. We’ve got a slightly different business philosophy in general, the atmosphere here cultivates togetherness, and walking into work has never had the typical “corporate grind” feeling for me. As cliché as it may sound, so much of what we do reminds me that Algonquin Studios isn’t just a company, it’s also a family and, for that reason, the monthly F.E.A.S.T. we hold is invaluable.

Besides, it’s an excuse to stuff yourself silly with pumpkin cheesecake at work.

In what ways does your company encourage (or discourage) community in the workplace? How do you feel your corporate policies have helped or hindered your relationships with your co-workers, managers, or even clients?