Culture Is a FAD!

I’m here to tell you that culture is a FAD!

What? This is coming from one of the founding partners of Rite-Solutions? Say it isn’t so!

Before I am accused of such heresy, let me explain that, by “FAD,” I mean Fanatical Attention to Detail.

Too often, people believe that a great company culture is the product of a “Big Bang” phenomenon. In my experience, a deep, ingrained culture is the product of a lot of little, everyday things.

It’s true that the platform for such a culture may be established early on, as part of the fundamental principles upon which a company is built—as it was at Rite-Solutions. But sustaining that culture, especially as a company rapidly grows, is a matter of fanatical attention to details. As Bill Taylor describes it in his book, Simply Brilliant, it’s a matter of doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

Our unique twist on birthday celebrations is a great example of this. Deep, meaningful relationships with new employees begin before they even walk through the door. Flowers are sent to spouses or significant others as a way to show that they are as much a part of the Rite Family as the employee. Before their first day, employees complete a “birth certificate,” which has little to do with the work that they will be performing. Instead, we ask about their interests and life experiences to help them quickly connect with other employees. This is a part of our culture. A unique culture that values community over corporation, collaboration over competition, and commitment over contractual relationship.

A company culture is the culmination of a lot of simple things that show how we care for each other. It’s a simple “Good morning!” as you walk down the hall–especially to folks you may not know well. It’s making coffee when you don’t even drink coffee, making popcorn in the afternoon, providing fresh baked goodies on the kitchen counter, or coordinating fitness challenges to anyone who wants to play.

It’s looking for ways to make someone’s day a little brighter, especially someone who may be struggling with something.

One of my favorite stories involves our receptionist, Alex Johnson. After her interview, Alex (pictured) was being escorted to the elevator when she noticed a piece of paper on the floor. Alex bent down, picked it up, and placed it in her pocket. Through that simple, caring act, we immediately knew that Alex was Rite for our company.

No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, every action, every encounter with a client or co-worker, and every conversation is an opportunity to define and build your company’s culture and reputation. You have an opportunity to move it forward or set it back – there is no neutral ground. For Rite-Solutions, we embrace the fact that we must be fanatical in our approach to our culture if we are to remain One of The F.E.W.

(Pictured: Alex Johnson, receptionist, who is a wonderful example of the Rite-Solutions culture).
Contact the author

2019-02-08T02:23:22+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Categories: Blog, Culture|

About the Author:

Joe Marino graduated from the University of Rhode Island (URI) with a BSEE and earned his MBA from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Joe also was selected to attend the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development Program. In 2008, he was inducted into the URI Business Leadership Hall of Fame. During that time, Joe served in the U.S. Navy as a Communications Tech, but earned most of his sea time with Electric Boat as an electrical engineer. In 1980, Joe began a long and successful career with Analysis & Technology where he supported the Naval Undersea System Command (NUWC) in Middletown, RI. Under Joe’s watch, this operation grew to more than 350 people. With his close friend and fellow A&T alumni, Jim Lavoie, Joe formed Rite-Solutions, Inc. in 2000. As CEO, Joe is responsible for the development and implementation of a sound technical and financial business model that will maintain the company’s unique, innovative culture and sustain aggressive growth for many years to come.