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Roundtable Review - Setting Business Culture

On March 26th, we held our Setting Business Culture roundtable using a remote Zoom session. The roundtable was introduced by Nancy Kleppel and Peter Ferzan

Given the COVID-19 crisis, we adapted the question posed to attendees to the following: What is a challenge you have faced with the onset of COVID-19 that effects your business culture in relation to employees, clients, growth, staying alive, ethical questions or other matters? 

Topics covered ranged from business challenges such as furloughing staff, chasing suspended contracts and payments, to planning for reduced revenue and dealing with employee and client communication at a time of heightened stress and sensitivity. 

We also informed members about a series of Workshops Brick & Wonder will be hosting to facilitate direct, practical learning on topics such as Tax, Accounting, Insurance, Employment Law, Scenario Planning and more. 

Below are some of the statements and insights shared by our 23 roundtable participants:

We have to be brave and not worry where the chips will fall. We can look at skills and capabilities we have and just put that stuff out into the world. Just put it out there and connect about the right thing, and you’ll find your way to the right people.

— Consultant

We are seeing business pick up – clients are more focused on visualization because they can no longer meet. We are just trying to find the right tools to enable that collaboration.

— Visualization Specialist

One client, a healthy global hotel operation has been blunt about saying they would not be paying us. This is unethical and illegal, and a poor representation of what we should be doing. We are having to be defiant and stand our ground. 

— Consultant

Everyone has so much on their shoulders. Talking with a group of friends, I found I started to splurge out all the things I’m worried about. It made me realize that just listening to each other is most valuable – that’s what people need.

— Eco Materials Supplier

We helped one client, The American Red Cross, build out an improvised new campaign in just a few days. It was a big bite of business for us, but we haven’t even talked about fees yet – we’re just trying to make it through and be supportive. It raises an ethical question about how to support them while supporting our own business.

— Filmmaker

A level of stress and uncertainty is inevitable with clients, colleagues, etc. It’s very easy to lash out at people on email, so I really believe in the importance of picking up the phone to diffuse tension.

— Architect

Given the remote setting, we don’t have any photos to share from this session.

However, all members can access a video recording and audio recording of the discussion. 

Our next roundtable is on Client Relations & Retention and will be introduced by Nina Stern, COO of Rockwell Group and strategy consultant, Sandi Feinblum

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