How to create a culture-conscious company
I went to Rhode Island School of Design for my Masters (after a 3-year stint working for an architecture firm in NYC) and Bachelors, studying Architecture and Interior Architecture. Prior to starting IN GOOD CO I worked for several agencies as a Strategist, Marketer, Trends Forecaster and Design Director at one time or another. 2 years ago I, along with Kirsten Ludwig, set out to create an agency that put its culture first, championed employees, made a place for positivity and purpose, and straight-up let good people do good work. Working for agencies sucked and we believed we could do it differently.
And thus, IN GOOD CO was born. At IGC, I am the Chief of Ideas; I oversee all of our designers and strategist, in addition to guiding the culture and ethos of our company. Below are a few industry trends we’ve been working to avoid:
1. Putting profit above everything else — From day one, even when we didn’t know where the next check was coming from, we gave ten percent (and often more) of our time to doing good, working on pro-bono projects that we believe make the world better and that make our team excited. We recently created a brand for DNC-speaker and disability advocate, Anastasia Somoza. We’re rebranding Conscious Capitalism International (current site is being updated) and working on a nationwide voting program, Vote Together, to drive participation through celebration, as part of the Creative Alliance/Civic Nation.
2. Treating your employees as line items and not people — We’re a B-Corp, meaning we measure our success not solely with profit but how well we function as an organization and how we treat our employees. This means: everyone has healthcare, everyone is offered three-months paid parental leave (we are early members of the Pledge Parental Leave movement), we don’t have an office (less footprint = more happiness), and the list goes on.
3. Doing things the way they’ve always been done — In addition to our agency, we were excited about other opportunities — basically we’re supercharging the side hustle. We have a one-third stake in a cannabis company, Mato Mato, looking to guide a new industry to the next level. We also started a culture-consulting organization, Whistle Work, helping employers hire and retain employees by building awesome company cultures.
4. Boxing people in— I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences so far in my career, but the best thing to come out of it was my realization that design thinking and skills don’t need limits. Boxing people in is not only a bad idea creatively, it’s one of the worst things you can do for cultivating potential and making it real. This continues to impact how I lead my team and is reflected in the variety of work we take on. Give people opportunities to succeed and you’ll be amazed at what they do.
Christina Danton is the Chief of Ideas at IN GOOD CO—a culture-conscious brand consultancy. In short: she is a creative strategist and creative with over ten years expertise. All of her career, she has focused on brand experiences that create truly meaningful connections between brands and people. She has worked with big brands like Google, Pinterest, Refinery 29, Uniqlo, Nike, Disney plus dozens of funded start-ups and cannabis brands.
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