Put a Little Mickey on Your Pillow

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Last week, several Daxko team members pooled their professional development budgets  to spend some quality time with Mickey Mouse.  Say what?  Daxko funded a trip for them to ride Space Mountain over and over again?  Well not exactly.  They participated in an intensive training through the Disney Institute to bring back practical ideas to further enhance the exceptional experience we provide to our customers.  The Walt Disney Company is viewed as the gold standard in providing exceptional service, crafting brand loyalty, and inspiring creativity and innovation. Companies like the NFL, Volvo, and Haagen-Dazs have come to learn from the best of the best at the Disney Institute.

Matt P., Daxko’s Support Services Director, shares his experience at the Disney Institute and the key takeaways he’s bringing back to Daxko.

Lisa H. is Director of Go-to-Market Strategy, and she thinks that Chex Mix and a Coke is the breakfast of champions.

Let's Take This Outside

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At Daxko, we’re fortunate to have the 3-mile Lakeshore Greenway on our back doorstep.  The weather has been beautiful this Spring and I’ve found myself daydreaming of having a retractable sunroof that would let us work while basking in the warm sun and fresh breezes.  So, the retractable sunroof thing might not be that feasible, but going on walking meetings is easily within reach.

For the past month or so, I’ve gone on walking one-on-one meetings with teammates.  We spend an hour catching up on projects, brainstorming ideas, and solving problems—all while soaking in this glorious Alabama Spring.  I’ve found that not only are “Walking 1-on-1’s” more enjoyable than spending that time meeting in a conference room, but they are more productive.  Below are a few reasons I think they are so great:

  • Calming and inspiring atmosphere.    A new environment = new perspective on existing projects and challenges.  It’s amazing how a new idea or solution can easily come to you once you change locations.
  • Moving in the right direction.  Warning:  if you don’t like cheesy comparisons, skip to the next bullet.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…There is truly a very different vibe of sitting across a conference table from a team member vs. both of us walking together in the same direction. It just feels like we’re working towards the same goal.  And it keeps the conversation moving forward.
  • The important details rise to the top.  In the office, it’s easy to get hung up on the nitty gritty details because you have your laptop, your notebook, printouts, even an agenda.  Getting stuck in the weeds in almost unavoidable.  But outside without all those “props”, we just stick to the most important details.  If we need to remember an action item or idea that came out of our walking meeting, we just jot it down quickly on our phone and move on.

If you haven’t tried a walking meeting yet, you should.  It’s a great way to get your exercise, your fresh air, and have a meaningful and productive conversation with your team!

Being a Daxko Mom

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You couldn’t turn a corner in the office a few months ago without running into a pregnant lady.  In fact, I was one of three in the marketing team sporting a baby bump last fall (don’t drink the water, folks).

Because our son Patrick is our first, I had absolutely no idea what it would be like to be a mom, much less a full-time working mom. I’d like to tell you I was calm and confident anticipating this life change, but let’s be honest.  I was a train wreck.

While I’ve only been a mom for 16 weeks now and a working mom for four of those, I was silly for getting so worked up over being able to handle it.  Daxko is a great company for working moms and has made this transition so much easier.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Six Weeks Paid Maternity Leave:  Being able to spend precious time getting to know your little one while still getting a paycheck?  Yes, please!
  • Mother’s Room:  We have a private mother’s room on site and have even added another temporary space for new moms to use due to the recent baby boom.
  • Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork:  Synergistic teamwork is one of our company’s core values and it has been ever-apparent since I returned.  My team happily pitched in to help keep things running seamlessly while I was enjoying time at home with Patrick (thanks, guys!).  And they welcomed me back with open arms, bringing me right back up to speed on what I had missed.

Sure, juggling being a mom while working full-time isn’t a breeze, but I honestly can’t think of anywhere else that I’d like to do that than at Daxko!

Core Values: Guiding Light or Empty Promise?

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I was catching up on my Associations Now reading today and came across a great piece in the August ’10 issue that really hit home for me.  In the “CEO to CEO” feature, they asked CEO’s to expand on the core values of their association.  The answers are admirable.  Integrity, Innovation, Commitment, Honesty and so forth.  I particularly liked James R. Mitchell’s perspective from Ohio Independent Auto Dealers Association:

“All members now know and understand our new mantra–individually we struggle to be heard; collectively we cannot be ignored.”

What a concise, but powerful guiding principal for his association (and many others for that matter).

This article made me think of my experience thus far working at Daxko.  When I joined the company last year, I learned about our 3 core values in my orientation:

  • Integrity without compromise
  • Synergistic teamwork
  • Sense of ownership

Based on my experience at other companies, I thought that orientation might be the last time I heard about our core values as well.  Or even worse, that they would be lurking on some cheesy corporate inspirational poster in a conference room.

I’m proud to say that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Our core values…

Read what Lisa had to say about Daxko’s core values on the Daxko Connect blog.