Productivity vs. Quality: How Culture Can Be A Driver For Quality

Quality and company culture

Culture Fostering Quality

When you read or listen to most experts opine on the subject of company culture the conversation is usually focused on productivity as the prized end result. Productivity is surely a prize, but Think Media Studios is a video production company. In our world, we tend to value quality over pure productivity. The past 18 months serves as a good example for how our culture fosters quality.

We know, we know – you’re tired of hearing about COVID, but hear us out for a sec and then you can get back to having ‘Dad Bod Summer’, ‘We Can Hug Again Summer’ or whatever summer you’re currently having.  In 2020/2021 company cultures got seriously tested via what the folks at Accenture are calling “Collective Displacement”. In short, the term describes that one time we all got sent home to live, work and shop etc. for over a year.

Growing Up

As a 16+ year old video production company where oddball culture is celebrated, Think Media Studios did not always have a concretely-stated vision for our culture. Like many small companies that startup then grow up, we grew into our culture. Of course, we eventually created mission, vision and values statements but these were and are driven by the organic values and visions that we were already living in those growing up years. They were always led chiefly by a value that remains today – we are good people first.

A nebulous idea? Sure. A lofty aspiration? Maybe. Perhaps we just like to aim high.

Not Just Productivity

What this means in practice for us is that we put the needs of people first in a real way. Evidence of this has meant different things at different times, but in the context of 2020/2021 it meant flex schedules to account for the absence of child care, helping staff to set boundaries between work and personal life when those two physical spaces were one and the same, and recognizing/respecting that we were all experiencing a shared situation in different ways. Here’s what we’ve found historically, but most especially in the past 18 months: when you lead with a culture where you are truly willing to listen and adjust to the needs of people, you yield better quality NOT just productivity.

At Think Media Studios, we are driven by the goal of delivering award-winning video services for our clients. The journey is of great importance, but what is always tangibly and indelibly left behind is the work. We have always been able to rely on culture as a key to delivering quality. In fact, the culture that we organically grew into became a quality driver during a difficult time. As we apply the lessons we’ve learned to our re-entry we will, as we always have, lead with a culture that values quality over pure productivity. There is a subtle distinction between the two but in our business, the best stuff is usually found in the nuance.

Colleen Bedell
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