What Mike Said: The Evolution of Cardwell Beach’s Culture

When we first started Cardwell Beach, I had never worked at an agency before, nor was I even close to a great salesperson. Mike Beach always said a few things right from the very start, none of which I fully comprehended at the time.

We were recently in the car on the way back from a client session out in New Jersey and he reminded me of a couple.

First, he said my job was going to be the most fun. He was absolutely right. Essentially, I get to think about where the industry is going, solve the first part of a client’s problem and then let engineers actually do the hard work of bringing the thing to life. This was no accident, though because we have worked hard to hire a diverse team with complementary skill sets, and we constantly assess what is the most rewarding type of work for someone to do, because we know they will put their heart and soul into it.

Second, he said that he didn’t care how many hours I worked as long as I got results. This now applies to anyone in our company. We do not compensate employees for the time they spend, but rather the quality of the output they produce, and our clients compensate us the same way. It keeps everybody honest, rewards honing your skill and produces results faster.

Third, he said he didn’t care where I worked from. Every day I wake up and work from the environment that makes the most sense for me today. Some days you need to collaborate, and some days you need to contemplate, and those two environments look very different. As a result we have a number of small communal workspaces for people to get together but we don’t force anyone to come into an office every day. Most writers, designers and programmers will tell you that the distractions of an office environment almost always disrupt the creative process. For me, I know my best work most always happens in the middle of the night. Some people work better first thing in the morning. It’s just a matter of preference, but that’s the point.

So, I’m happy to say that Mike was right—my job is a lot of fun, focusing on outcomes over hours is good everybody involved, and it’s best to work in the environment that suits the task at hand.

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