Tag Archives: Communication Blog

Transparency in the face of Difficulties

30 Dec

Transparency in Business2008 is now but a memory.  That fall was the start of the financial downturn and the capital plans at our customers collapsed in a matter of weeks.  OST was doing a lot of business in the financial services space and no one needs to be reminded of what happened to that industry.

OST had a bad month in November of 2008.

Dan, Meredith and I were thinking about how to communicate to the OST employees.  Many of our team had worked for companies had experienced downturns in the past.  And each of the three of us had personally experienced the emotions that occur when corporations downsize.

We have a culture of loyalty at OST and the three of us believed that each employee was valuable and important.  We also believed that every one of them had to be at the top of their game and individually successful in order for us to get through the downturn.  Finally, we knew that if we kept the team intact and we persevered, we would be extraordinarily positioned for growth when the recovery began.

But how to avoid the angst that naturally occurs when there is uncertainty and fear of the future.

We decided to do two things: Share good news and be completely transparent.

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On the Value of Quirks

9 Dec

For the sake of those OST employees reading this, I am not talking about you.  This post is clearly about your coworkers.

Quirky Hanging TwixThis morning I was wandering on the third floor at the OST office and came across this scene.  I heard that one of our staff came in today singing Jingle Bells at the top of his voice.  And, as everyone would probably attest to, Chief Quirkiness Officer (CQO) might be an appropriate title for me.

We could all make a list of the interesting and quirky behavior of the OST team.  Candy bars suspended from the ceiling as a birthday surprise is just one of the indicators.

Clearly, this is part of the fun atmosphere at OST.  We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. We enjoy the March Madness party, the Spartan/U of M/Notre Dame/Packers/Lions/etc. rivalries.  The not-too-serious “welcome to OST emails”. The spider jokes with Tracy.

But does it have purpose?  We are after all, a business.  I was asked this question quite seriously by a visitor that was new to OST.  They acknowledged the cool factor and that it would make it a fun place to work, but is there a value in this quirky corporate culture? Continue reading