“Help in the Main”

We have a practice at TechColumbus that I call “Help in the Main.”

First a little background.gold star

TechColumbus is a host location for everything from Tech Essential classes for entrepreneurs, to rehearsals for client presentations, to X Squared Angels office hours, to the upcoming Cardinal Health 24-hour Codefest.

We like being the place that entrepreneurs want to come. We want the energy and buzz that’s so important in the world of startups. It’s part of our mission to connect our clients to each other and to investors. We are pleased that national training organizations contract to hold their software and coding classes here.

But that means there’s always housekeeping involved.

There might be a conference room that needs clearing after a working lunch so that the venue is fresh for an evening event. There are always tables and chairs to be moved. Or an entrepreneur needs an extension cord or help setting up a laptop for a demonstration.

We pride ourselves on running lean. That means that we have to pick up after ourselves.

So here’s how “Help in the Main” goes.

Ann Marks, who manages our lobby operation and is the first person to greet our clients, accelerator companies, and pretty much everyone else who comes through the front door, will send out an email to all employees, subject line: Help in the Main.

Sometimes there will be more information, such as we need to move chairs. Other times, the request will simply be Help in the Main.

Folks who have a few minutes between the next client session  or telephone call, come up front and do what needs to be done.

Then Ann will send a second email thanking people for their help.

Nobody makes a big deal out of this. I’ve never one heard one TechColumbus person complain—even when there are lots more than just a few chairs to move. People pitch in to get things looking good and then go back to their regular jobs.

Every company has its own culture. Sometimes the different aspects of a culture come on and off like winter coats, depending on who’s in the room and what’s going on.

TechColumbus isn’t like that. We are collaborative and helpful, whether we are moving chairs, teaching a class, or coaching an entrepreneur on creating an effective elevator speech.

For us, it’s all “Help in the Main.”