Company Culture with OTL Director of Operations, Candace Stephens

As Director of Operations at Ownthelight, Candace deals with a lot of internal operations including, but not limited to, our company cultural and team development.

It’s incredibly important to address the culture of your company. When I stepped into the position of DOO at Ownthelight, one of my first priorities was to observe and address the company culture and team development.

Setting culture within a company creates a standard of ethics and an intentional ethos for team members to be a part of building and maintaining. It also sets a standard that your audience, community, and consumers can grow to respect and allows your brand/company to stay consistent enough to develop consumer loyalty. Without culture consistency, your brand won’t develop in a focused manner or industry.

It was important to me to establish company values and vision for current and future team members to understand and adhere to as our company scales. Every company needs a heartbeat that everyone is able to recognize and dance to.

To begin the process of developing our brand, I sat down with our Chief Innovations Officer, Dennis Mulyar to understand the foundation that Ownthelight was built upon, and from that conversation, we were able to start honing in on a list of company values. From there, we built a mission statement that would encompass our overarching goal as a company, something we could focus on daily, in addition to our values. Once we had our values and mission statement in place, we built a handbook to ensure that the on-boarding process of new team members was direct, insightful, intentional, and aligning with our company values.

With the brand now established, I was able to focus more on team development, implementing process improvements, helping the existing team to isolate and improve on their strengths. We did this through personality testing such as Clifton Strengths and through spending time getting to know each other. This created a space for improved communication and team bonding. It’s imperative for teams to move forward as a unit in any company endeavor, especially with productions in the social media world, as they move quickly, and across multiple teams. Having everyone on the same page encourages transparency and accountability, minimizing delays, discrepancies, and confusion.

Company culture is so imperative, and strong values (only if adhered to) will help protect the integrity of your brand, your company and most importantly, your people.


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