When I joined ZAG more than six months ago, one of the first things I did was read more about our vision, mission, and values. I wanted to really understand how the organization worked before I started interacting with my colleagues on a regular basis.
But what I’ve noticed about the values that ZAG has established is that there is a commonality and an undocumented value built on the company’s culture of sharing. What I mean by that goes deeper than simply being an organization that communicates regularly across teams (which we do). It actually is present in every meeting at every level of the organization.
It’s one of the core reasons that we’re focused on being the premier provider of information technology to agribusinesses across the Western United States. For 15 of ZAG’s 22 years, the company has provided technology and ongoing support to some of the largest names in agriculture. Because fresh produce specifically is such a unique segment of the agriculture sector, there are a lot of lessons that can be learned that are fitting across multiple businesses.
It’s not uncommon for members of ZAG’s team to identify a challenge that one client has and share it with other clients because it could mean making their organizations safer, more streamlined, or simply make their lives easier. The ZAG value of “exceptional the goal” helps foster this culture, where team members continually learn and share their experiences with the rest of the organization to make us stronger.
It is because of this culture of sharing that we recently received praise from one of our long-time clients. Johnny McGuire, Director of IT for The Nunes Company, recently said:
“The biggest thing ZAG does is share their learned experiences – built from working with so many leading agribusinesses – and uses that to solve our problems and help us win in a competitive marketplace.”
Across ZAG’s teams, we take this culture into each interaction by asking ourselves, “What did we learn from this experience? What can we do better? What can we extend beyond this client and into others?”
More recently, we asked some of our own team members, “How does ZAG foster a culture of sharing?” This is what they had to say:
“Life hacks are meant to be shared. It makes the information even more valuable when it helps more people. ZAG does this when they create a task list template for others to use to avoid reinventing the wheel. It’s why Greg’s Office Hours are so popular, and why client roundtable discussions like Nick’s Salinas Lunch Bunch and the CXO Roundtable are so powerful. We all learn something new and valuable that makes our lives easier, our clients better, and our team more resourceful, every time something is shared.”
Joe Foos, Development Director
“The culture of sharing was evident to me when we had a ‘lessons learned’ call after a project closed. It was a safe place to discuss things we can do better next time. We talked about the challenges we had for the project and how to prevent them in the future. Everyone on the call was open to listening and we came away with a couple of changes to our onboarding process. I think these types of discussions not only foster a culture of sharing but they are important to achieving our goal of operational maturity and demonstrate our values, one of which is ‘exceptional the goal.’”
Michille Watson, Account Manager
“Engineers have always been asked to share their experience with the team when they encounter a new technical challenge. This gives everyone the benefit of that knowledge while encouraging open lines of communication. This has become habit forming, and everyone feels comfortable both giving and eliciting feedback to and from peers.”
Anthony Garcia, IT Analyst
“A culture of sharing means being open, providing information, having a location where information is available and active communication. It feels like ZAG hits all these marks all the time. Our president takes time weekly to have a very open and honest video Q&A for the entire team, which gives everyone the opportunity to chat, address challenges, or answer questions. Monthly Town Hall meetings help connect the team even though we are spread out across the country.”
Caleb Blaylock, Client Services Support Specialist II
Interested in learning more about ZAG’s mission, vision, and values? Click here.