Culture in Austin

Scott Francis
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I don’t pretend to be an expert on culture. I subscribe to the adage of “knowing it when you see it.”  There are lots of people who are very intentional and deliberate about building culture at their firms.  And there are plenty of books you can read that will tell you what the author thinks you should do.  But everyone has to blaze their own trail on this one.  No two companies and businesses are really the same.

Last weekend we had fun taking our interns and a few of our Austin-based team to see Stubbs’ BBQ Gospel Brunch – one of those “only in Austin” experiences.  This one was my idea.  But they also went to see the Austin’s women’s roller derby.  Someone else on the team thought that would be fun.  And someone else took them wakeboarding.  And then there was the master pancake theater (don’t ask!)… And we’ve taken them to countless local Austin food joints.  I couldn’t be prouder.

You can’t really legislate this kind of thing.  People just do it.  Because it resonates.  Because they want to share. Because they get the idea that it is okay to share their own hobbies and eccentricities. And you can’t legislate the idea that people help each other, selflessly.  Or that they’re so ready to return the favor the next time around.  But we sure do appreciate it.

I think the consensus is that the next milestone is boots.   As in, Allens Boots.  Can’t send our interns home without a little bit of Texas to go with them (and I don’t just mean the extra weight BBQ and Queso will add to the waistline!).

(We’re doing our part to grow the talent pool in Austin.  What’s your firm doing?)

Of course, this isn’t the only thing people mean when they say culture.  We also care about making and meeting commitments.  We care about our customers.  And we care about building a great team.  These activities above are just the fringe benefits of taking care of the core cultural elements of a firm.  But these fringe benefits are a key way to say “thanks” and to develop a team.  I’m thankful that we have such a rewarding team to work with.

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