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Idea Fair

Everything Is – Cultural Book & Workshops

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

The DAC Excellence Team (DET), made up of 12 mid and upper level managers, developed a unique and updated approach to explaining and sharing the culture, values and identity of the Detroit Athletic Club focused on the staff and their need to understand what the organizations stands for. Taking an older “staff brand book” and completely reinventing it required months of planning, discussion, writing and preparation. A clear intent for the book helped us design it in a unique way that would be highly relate-able for employees, whether they were new or had been with the club for many years. A “brand” style was chosen that was different from the DAC’s more traditional and conservative approach. The book was intended to be colorful, full of dynamic photography, inspirational quotes, club history, keys to success and included information graphics in three main section – what is the personality of the DAC? What is the DAC itself ? and What is our Consistent Performance Process ? (This is our service excellence program that includes departmental manuals, service guarantees, processes and procedures and training guidelines and schedules.) The goal was for a readable, fun, interactive cultural book that would become the starting point for a whole series of cultural workshops, communications posters, signs, handouts and a new approach to our regular staff meetings (now celebrations).

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

A budget was created for the book. Other similar publications used by several Detroit-based corporations were reviewed for ideas. Photography was created over several weeks, touching all departments within the clubhouse. Writing and revisions were made and reviewed by the DET and the DAC’s executive manager (who also contributed a welcome letter to the book). Upon completion of the employee book, with a final name of “Everything Is: Being the Detroit Athletic Club,” it was decided to launch the book for all current employees of the club by having them take part in a series of cultural workshops designed to explain the club and utilizing the book and its contents. Each staff member received an individualized copy of the 48-page guide in a special envelope during the workshops that, in the end, trained more than 400 staff members on how to act, perform and “be” the DAC. The book is still in use for all new hires who join the team, and they are also expected to attend one of the four quarterly “Everything Is” workshops still being conducted by the DET. Staff response to the book and its contents has been highly favorable. A test and a feedback survey were used to gauge the staff’s understanding of the book as well as their opinion of how well it explained the club’s core values, mission, vision and brand personality. Many staff enjoyed sharing the book with their family members as a fun and easy way to explain where they work to those who may not understand what the DAC is all about, thereby clearly demonstrating that the book was doing its job – explaining the culture of the DAC for the staff.

About the author

Charles Johnson

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