Caught in a Mentor Sandwich

February 4, 2019Culture, Experience, Listening

So, just a couple of days ago and I’m standing in a classroom inside the McCombs Business School at The University of Texas sharing an example of how much our lives have changed since the early, heady days of the interwebs, when Gopher was a viable contender to HTTP and the geeks were still yet to inherit the earth. In front of me are 35 UT undergrads leaning in and looking pretty engaged. On my left is one the most important mentors in my life and professor of the class, Bob Pearson. I take pause to drink in what was happening. Here I am guest lecturing at one of the top business schools in the US, dropping knowledge and experience on eager students, flanked by my mentor Bob who, in turn, has dropped much …

The Importance of Mentoring: To the Women That Showed Me the Way

January 25, 2019Culture, Listening

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” – J Loren Norris One of our most talented up-and-comers, Taylor Watson, had a brilliant idea. To bring this month’s agency fundamental “Be a Mentor” to life, she suggested we have a “thank a mentor” party at the agency. We get together as a group in both offices to write a thank-you note to the people who have helped us get to where we are today. First of all, a written note in today’s world is akin to a Bigfoot sighting. The time it takes to write with an actual pen requires thought to what you want to say. And let’s face it, receiving a handwritten note from someone just feels good. Its says, “I took the time …

Can Old Sharks Teach Us New Tricks?

January 11, 2019Culture, Experience, Listening

Ever since I was a young boy I have always been fascinated with sharks. Maybe fascinated isn’t the word. Passionate. Is that the right word? Obsessed is probably more accurate. No, it wasn’t because of Jaws but rather all those Jacques Cousteau PBS specials I watched with my dad during my formative years. As I grew older, more mature and braver (maybe not so much wiser), I became a scuba diver and have continued to hone this hobby to align with my shark obsession. During my diving career I have progressively risen up the ranks of underwater shark encounters/experiences: nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, blue sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and the elusive and magnificent whale shark. This journey up the food chain came to its zenith this past October when I truly had the experience of a lifetime …

An Oreo, a Deviled Egg and a Bloody Suit Walk Into an Office …

November 1, 2018Culture

Hi guys! It’s me, your friendly HCB culture blogger! I’m back to talk to you about my all-time, hands-down, most-favorite holiday ever — Halloween. I LOVE Halloween. I mean, who doesn’t? You get to spend a whole month watching scary movies and then top it off by dressing up like a hotdog and then binge eating candy until you’re nauseous. IT’S THE BEST. And recently, I’ve learned that celebrating it in an office environment is actually a great way to gain some serious insight into your coworkers. Here’s the secret: Pay close attention to the costumes your coworkers wear. Think back to yesterday … What was your favorite costume that a coworker wore? What made it your favorite? When I think about my favorite coworkers’ costumes, the things that make them my favorite are things like this: The …

How to Make a Cross-Cultural Global Team Succeed? Communication.

October 9, 2018Culture, Experience, Listening, Technology

Before I came to work as the CFO of HCB Health, I was the Global Controller of a very large design firm. My finance team was in the U.S., EMEA and APAC, and we shared treasury and tax with our holding company in India. I learned that working with a global team presents many challenges that managers often overlook, and, if ignored, they can slowly degrade the overall team dynamics. It seems obvious that regular and frequent communication is the key to success. Duh? Sounds so easy. However, it’s not so easy when you are speaking to team members for whom English is not their first language. While numbers are the universal language, the complex business transactions we discussed created confusion more than once. There were also time differences. Your morning is your …

Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat. It Was Ignorance. (Curiosity Was Framed.)

October 4, 2018Culture, Listening, Marketing

The world’s greatest inventions, discoveries, innovations, products, services and companies all have one thing in common. They all blossomed from the seed of curiosity. When curiosity is nurtured and pursued, anything can come from it. But it can’t be passive or accidental. It must be as natural and active as our beating heart in order to see its fruits. At HCB, we’ve made it one of our core values because we believe curiosity is how we got here. It’s why our clients have stuck with us for so long. And it’s what keeps us growing in new and vibrant directions. Let me be clear that the act of questioning, prodding, wondering and seeking can be a messy one. Curiosity is …

Yes, My Degree in Bass Performance Really Does Apply to My Job in Advertising

September 21, 2018Culture, Experience, Listening, Marketing

And a one … and a two … and a one, two, three, go! I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised at how many musicians there are in advertising — hell, I’m one of them. Everywhere I’ve worked, there have been guitarists, drummers, singers, pianists … and, perhaps most importantly, bassists. (Can you guess what I play?) My degree is in Popular Music Performance. It’s an unusual degree, I’ll grant you, and it never fails to come up in job interviews. So, after 11 years as a writer, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how experience …

Can Company Culture Transcend State Lines?

September 17, 2018Culture, Listening

My name’s Anastasia. I’m a project manager in our Chicago office. Yup, that’s right, HCB occupies several locations in the states and I’m part of the Windy City Crew. That’s probably got you wondering … If these guys work in different states, can their culture of listening (and being work besties) transcend state lines? YOU BET. I’ve worked at HCB for almost four years and have gotten to know many Austin colleagues as well as if we were cube neighbors, which …