Posts Tagged: living your culture


CBI Group Adds Tattoo Design to Its Services (Sort Of)

August 23rd, 2012

At CBI Group, we’re known for our high-quality recruitment solutions, staffing services, and of course, comedic routines (A horse walks into a bar…). Could Tattoo Design soon be added into the mix?

Every quarter, the CBI Group Sales Team gathers together for a day-long Sales Retreat where we conduct sales learning activities and discuss all things sales, of course! For our latest Retreat, the Marketing Team came up with a great exercise to tap into the well of creativity that lies within all CBI Team members: a temporary tattoo design competition.

The premise was simple: Create a design that incorporates all three of our brands – CBI Group, Placers, and Barton Career Advisors – during our lunch break. At the end of the Retreat, the Team would vote on their favorite tattoo design and the winning design would be made into a temporary tattoo and magnet! We were given a blank sheet of paper (fitting for the CBI Team, no?)…a few markers…and BAM! the race was on the create the very first CBI Group temporary tattoo.

We’re proud of our designs, and while we acknowledge that none of them will ever end up as featured tattoos by Kat Von D or Ed Hardy, we’d like to share them with you! Check them out below:

Mary’s Tattoo

Outside-In

Rita’s Tattoo

Values Based

Chris’s Tattoo

Gang's All Here

Lisa’s Tattoo

3 Companies, 1 Target

Kathy’s Tattoo

Blazing the Trail

Rich’s Tattoo

Venn CBI-agram

Lisa’s Tattoo

 Suspension of Disbelief

Heather’s Tattoo

Wear CBI On Your Sleeve

Robin’s Tattoo

Team Based

Kelly & Gabrielle’s Tattoo

Formula for Success

Chris’s Tattoo

Logo Fusion

Glenn’s Tattoo

 Global Reach

Gail’s Tattoo

Blank Sheet of Paper Solution

Which tattoo design do you like best? Check back soon when we reveal the winning design and the tattoo graphic!

8/29/2012 Update: Congrats to Lisa Van Ess for the winning design, receiving the most votes from the team for her design, 3 Companies, 1 Goal!

Why Intrapreneurial Matters to Me

June 27th, 2012

My companies are values based. We have twenty values, or ‘tenets’, that provide us with guidelines that enable us to operate without strings. They are part of our Outside-In® culture. Everyone knows it is up to us to live them and reinforce them at work. This is the “village rules” mentality!

From a practical standpoint, we focus on one tenet every week. This is our way of bringing each one to life as we live it, reward it, recognize it and hold all to be accountable to it. Our tenet for this week is Intrapreneurial. We are often teased because it seems like a made-up word, but that’s okay – Shakespeare made up words for his plays all the time! Over 1,700 in fact. Do the words advertising, champion, or fashionable sound familiar? Yep, Shakespeare invented them.

So, made-up word or not…what does intrapreneurial mean anyway? Well, we recently decided to put the skepticism to rest once and for all, and look up the word in the dictionary. The definition we found for intrapreneur was, “A person within a corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.”

So, there you have it. Intrapreneurs are entrepreneurs within a company. Is your head spinning, yet? If it is, stay with me. Being intrapreneurial is when employees take an entrepreneur’s mindset, an ownership mindset. Entrepreneurs take risks, make decisions, explore new ideas or create unique products or solve challenging business problems. Why can’t employees do that too? They can and…they do.

We have an environment that mimics entrepreneurship, where everyone has an ownership mindset, without the financial risk of course. We want our team to know how to think and make decisions as entrepreneurs. To gather information and analyze it. To know what it takes to be one.

Our tenets have value to more than just our employees. Being intrapreneurial means our customers  interact with employees that are empowered to make things happen, to make informed and thoughtful decisions. Have you ever heard an entrepreneur say “Sorry, I have to ask my supervisor.”? No. And I never want my staff to sound, or worse yet, feel that way in business.

We just want our team members to take direct responsibility. As a team of intrapreneurs, we add value to our teammates, our environment, and our customers. We desire innovation and we encourage risk-taking – the same kind that Shakespeare showed when he decided to add 1,700 new words to the English language. Imagine what the editors and colleagues in his theater company thought when he unveiled these new words.…Who is this guy? What type of person has the guts to do that?

My answer? An intrapreneur.

What does your staff say about you during vacation season?

July 20th, 2010

My mentor always said that Outside-In leadership involves letting others take a rest when they deserve it. That leading by example can mean letting your newest employee take off on Christmas Eve or skip a late shift on a Friday night, even if you have to step up as the leader and work in their place. We are all equal in importance, we all have value and as leaders, we want to send the right message. As a leader, we should be prepared to allow others the opportunity to go home when we would normally be the first in line.

During my college years, I worked in retail and my manager never worked Sundays. She always told us that once we put our time in and were leaders ourselves that we could set the schedule as we saw fit. Ironically, in order to maximize her weekend she also did not work late on Saturdays (and in many cases had that day off too). That logic seems funny – to leave the assistant managers and newest employees to manage the busiest and probably most profitable time in this business. What she did was not necessarily wrong but it did not earn her our trust or respect. We all knew it was on purpose and it only served to enforce that there was a pecking order and we knew where we stood. It hurt productivity and didn’t foster allegiance to a great company because we did not believe in our leader. We all eventually would leave and find other work.

What do most of us practice as we climb the ladder and achieve the status and the accolades that come with leadership? We take the time off that we want. Sure we work hard, even work around the clock. That is not unique, in fact, it is our job. Time is not something we ever have enough of and we feel like we have earned it. So we leave early on Fridays in the summer. We take two weeks off in a row, when most of our employees don’t even get that kind of time off in a whole year.

Please do not be offended by my point of view – I’m merely stating that leadership is about doing “right things” and in my estimation that means leading by example. Working and putting in your time during holidays and vacation season. Your people may not say anything – but they will see it and they will know you are acting in a way that aligns with your culture…


So do you have 50% of your staff in during heavy vacations? How is your customer service level?
Will your managers be at the office at 50%?
Are your rookies getting their time off?
Are your senior people always getting their first choice for time off?
Are you going to lead by example this summer?

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