Covering all the Bases


A couple of weeks ago a few members of my team and I had the priviledge of visiting Group Publishing in Loveland, CO. When we entered the office, with the smiling receptionist on our side of her desk to greet us, we instantly grasped their corporate culture and values. The lobby spoke volumes about their love of the customer and the culture the leaders, Tom and Joani Schultz, want to create. From the talking mouse head, to the in-house Starbucks, these wonderful people communicate to everyone their business credo. Never before have I seen such A-Z coverage of vision, values and customer focus.

After the warm greeting we were given a tour of the facility. As we wound our way through the multiple-floor building we saw, almost at every turn, signs of customer focus, personal warmth and giving back to the local community. The company offices literally spoke volumes and tied directly to their guiding principles.

Group Publishing ( focuses on a corporate concept they call “a-ha”. They want you the customer to have that experience and they create a work environment that causes the employees to do the same, FOR YOU. They base their products on the concept REAL — relational, experiential, applicable and learner based. As we toured the offices we saw it, up close and very personal.

One idea (of several “a-ha’s” we picked up during our day in their offices) was naming the conference rooms. The “grandma” room is used to brainstorm ideas for curriculum and products for Grandma. It’s replete with rocking chairs and shawls just like Grandma’s. All conference rooms have names that reflect different points in Group’s history or what they want to do capture the customer’s heart.

The lesson? It’s painfully obvious. What Group has done is transfer their values and love of customer to everyone — from A to Z. Employees and management are immersed into the very customer environment they want to create in their innovative products. The Group offices “walk the talk.”

The question we all need to ask ourselves is what does our environment tell our employees? Does it help them focus on the customer’s heart? Does it easily communicate the values of the organization? If not, what values does it communicate? I encourage you to look around and seek to wear your love of customer and your values on your sleeve for everyone to see.


2 Responses to “Covering all the Bases”

  1. Rebekah Whitlock says:

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY think we need to switch to Starbucks!!! 🙂

  2. Mark Eaton says:

    A quick, effective test in determining how a company takes care of their employees through their physical environment, is to check the quality of the toilet paper in the bathrooms.

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