Tearing Down Silos and Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone, with George Brooks

May 26, 2020
PRODUCED BY POLLY YAKOVICH

George is a UX designer by trade and an entrepreneur by accident. He’s spent the past 10 years growing and evolving Crema, which started as an operation in the second bedroom of his home and has now grown to a 40+ person, multi-location company in the KC crossroads. His background is in digital design and all things UX, although, more recently, his focus has shifted to 1) new product experimentation through Venture Lab and 2) methods and ideologies for building successful product teams.

Over the years, George has helped craft health system websites, social networks for auto-parts, small business lending platforms, construction resource allocation software, and cybersecurity evaluation and automation tools. He’s also helped launch startups at SXSW and has overseen innovation projects as they took hold inside their corporate teams. This wide variety of work has shaped the way Crema thinks about product teams. It’s allowed their products and clients to grow into multi-million and even billion-dollar businesses.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How George's career path led to focusing on UX and the founding of Crema, and how they have grown to over 40 full-time employees with a focus on enterprise-level work
  • How George and his team learned to focus their content on the needs of their clients rather than on themselves, and how they work to create free resources that deliver value
  • Why content creation has helped the team at Crema build trust and strengthen relationships, and how the sales process has changed in response to content creation
  • Why growth is inherently uncomfortable, and why embracing many different perspectives and avoiding department silos is critical for not only growth but a strong culture
  • How Crema is structured to maximize collaboration, creativity, and efficiency, and how they teach their clients to use similar methods despite the initial discomfort
  • How "structures", "disciplines" and "postures" are three unique frames for various aspects of your business, with different challenges when attempting to change them
  • What steps you can begin to take now to change your way of thinking and adopt Crema's philosophies and strategies

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