We’re All Neighbors in Business and at Work


Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing the founders of Beekman 1802 – Brent Ridge (left) and Josh Kilmer-Purcell (standing in front of a live video feed of their goat barn) – talk again about the origins and the growth of their family business at the Electric City Innovation Center, a wonderful co-working space in downtown Schenectady where they have recently relocated their corporate headquarters. I’m happy to be one of their newer neighbors at the ECIC.

I particularly appreciated their business philosophy of considering everyone their neighbor – artisans, customers, vendors and employees:

As we grew, however, our business plan began writing itself. It was “written” in each handshake with new neighbors as we collaborated to design and produce dozens of new, completely unique, artisanal products. The plan still can’t be found in a Powerpoint document anywhere. But it’s indelibly marked in the conscience of every employee and customer of Beekman 1802. It’s not a complicated plan. In fact, it can be summed up in only three values that “Beekmans” all around the world share:

Work hard.

Help your neighbor.

Never quit.

They contend – and I agree – that reputation-killing poor customer service such as United Airlines’ recent incidents might have been minimized or avoided altogether if their employees considered all fliers as neighbors.

How do you (and your neighbors) support each other’s success in business and at work?

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