Riding On The Bus

    Did you miss Part 4? Read it here!


    Smartie-Pants was onto something. The group and I were encouraged about what he was helping us to do, and I could feel that excitement as I entered the building the next day.

    I started my day by reading about the next step in our business building process. According to Good to Great, it is vitally important to have the right people in the right spot in your company. Having a person doing a job that he or she isn’t ideally suited for enables the organization to be good, but not great. The author talks about each company is like a bus that is driving to a destination. It goes onto explain that we must first begin with “who” rather than “what” when it states:

    “The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and th en get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, “Look I really don’t know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great. (pg. 41)”

    Having the right people on the bus allows the company to easily change direction and move the bus to its proper destination. Also, the right people hold within themselves a sense of motivation that allows leaders to lead rather than manage, further propelling the company toward greatness. Continue reading…


    One of the Best Days Ever

    Did you miss Part 3? Read it here!


    It was an early morning phone call with Smartie-Pants that rocked me out of my funk. I had spent the past few days wondering why I’d hired this hyper-analytical consultant to help me with my business. All I wanted to do was grow bigger, hire more people, and ship more crystal each year – seemed sort of simple to me.

    Why Did It Matter If We Knew Why We Existed?

    Why did it matter if we knew why we exist?

    I mean seriously.

    “Chuck,” he said. “When you know why you exist people will be able to work for the company, not just for you. The company will take on its own life. It will exist outside of you, and it will be able to grow and thrive. It will be like a tree – its roots are being driven deep into the ground right now as we do this work. Once the roots are secure, the tree will not stop growing upward and will not fall over as it grows taller. Trust me. This is the most important question to answer.”

    I took a deep breath. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s move ahead.” Continue reading…


    Philosophy Isn’t My Thing

    Did you miss Part 2? Read it here!


    How do you find out who you are when you have no idea what you are all about?

    The self-actualists in the audience will resonate with that question as they constantly strive to find out just all of who they are. But to ‘feet-on-the-ground’ people like me, this question feels more like a tumbleweed floating aimlessly across a wide-open field. It seems to go forward with no real destination in sight, as it chases the clouds.

    Smartie-Pants had helped me realize that my company existed for a purpose greater than making money. But what was it?

    Curious, I was open and ready to learn. Continue reading…

    Good to Great

    The Beginning of The Beginning

    Did you miss Part 1? Read it here!

    In the mid-to-late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Crystal D was always on the brink of extinction. We were in the infancy stage in the life of a business, and we were just making it.

    I remember feeling the heavy weight of responsibility for everything. I did it all – I filled the Coke machine, I prepped glass for production, I etched, I packed, I paid the bills, and I answered the The Beginning of the Beginning phone. Of course, I had people in those positions, but I often found myself diving into areas that needed a “boost” in order to keep the production process moving ahead. My fingers literally touched every single part of the business. Every. Single. Day. Continue reading…

    Newborn Twins

    Bringing Home Twins

    In August of 1992 I bought a company called Ice Nine Glass Design. It was a small operation that specialized in light etch on glassware, such as beer pilsners and double-old-fashioned glasses. We produced hundreds of thousands of glass Christmas ornaments each year. I inherited about 8 employees when I took over. The company had no catalog, only an ad in the yellow pages. Continue reading…

    Gold Trophies

    Create a Gold-Medal Experience

    Award presentations can be an out-of-the-ordinary experience not only for the presenter, but also for the award recipient. Whether you are giving an award to an employee for years of service or an outstanding contribution to the company, preparing for the recognition event is important.

    A great recognition event can generate pride, increase employee satisfaction, and establish trust between employees and managers. However, a poorly prepared and presented recognition event can actually have detrimental effects – declining retention, disengaged employees, and grounding the company’s bottom line.  Continue reading…

    Memory Lane in Trees

    Making Memories with Recognition Awards

    Humans use all five senses including taste, smell, sound, sight and touch to make a memory. Recognition awards given to a deserving recipient embody the memory of the experience. People remember all sorts of details from their recognition experience including the tension of anticipation preceding the event, the appearance of the room, the taste of the food, the sounds in the room, and the feeling of receiving congratulations from their peers among other memories.

    Recognition awards are designed to trigger these memories long after the event is complete.

    After the rush of surprise and excitement that occurs when a person receives an award, the recipient returns home, often to share the experience with family and friends. This creates even more memories that merge with the recognition experience. From that point on, the award itself becomes the only physical item remaining from the recognition experience. Continue reading…

    thumbs up

    Employee Recognition Programs Exist Because…

    If you want an organization that is characterized by a solid culture where people do what needs to be done or employees get more done faster or is a place soaking in happiness, an employee recognition program is right for you!

    Your first thought may be, “Employee recognition programs exist just to make people feel good.” On some level, this is true. But the bigger truth is that recognition programs accomplish more for an organization than just spreading goodwill. In fact, ‘goodwill’ doesn’t even make the list. These programs are used primarily to get your employees to do what you want them to do faster than they are currently doing right now.

    Employee recognition programs are built on the idea that people who are rewarded for doing something in a certain way will continue to do it that way as long as they continue to receive positive praise. ‘Positive praise’ includes a personal award and a thank you message or compliment. Employee recognition programs deliver positive praise. Offering recognition through awards and positive praise is a way to effectively mold and influence an employee. Continue reading…


    Crystal as a Holiday Gift

    Crystal awards and gifts can be used for a variety of occasions. Of course we all know about corporate events: retirement, years of service, sales achievements, and so on. But what about holidays?

    “Holidays? Crystal for holidays? I only use crystal dishes around the holidays.”

    Well, why not use crystal for more than just beautiful dishware? Winter holidays are coming up sooner than you think, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about crystal as a holiday gift.

    “Well, how do I use crystal as a holiday gift?”

    There are many ways to use crystal around the holidays. At Crystal D, we’re happy to help you come up with more ideas than the ones below. Just drop us a line! Continue reading…

    Blowing glass

    Glass Awards vs. Crystal Awards: A Beginner’s Guide

    Do you ever wonder why glass awards are any different then crystal awards? At first glance, glass awards appear to be similar to crystal awards. However, with a little further attention it becomes clear that crystal awards offer additional qualities that are valuable.

    Crystal and glass awards are similar but still very different substrates. They each offer something unique to an award design. Continue reading…