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Why I Work Where I Do...(and on a related note, the launch of DAXKOnation)

I started my career by working for Fortune 500's as a HR pro, and life was good.  I was young, smart (my opinion, maybe no one else's) and in need of an environment to learn the business of HR.  The Fortune 500's I worked for provided great tools (Cingular), mentors and a cowboy frontier (Charter - 70 locations and 3,000 employees in my client group from 14 different companies slapped together by an acquisition happy Paul Allen) to learn from.

In every one of those situations, the inevitable happened.  Bureaucracy crept in, and the job didn't feel asJerry-maguire-800-75 groovy as it once did.  So I moved on.

After the client group of 3,000 employees where I honed my employee relations chops (can you say "on the job employment attorney?"  I thought ya could kids!), I took a different path: I moved to a small, venture capital backed software company in 2004.  Good move KD- I got the opportunity to build a HR shop from the ground floor up and flex all the big company tools I had learned from in the Fortune 500 world.

Then I got bored after 4 years.  Is that a trend?  Do I have a touch of ADD?  Does getting bored after 4 years count as ADD?  Some would say yes...

Now I'm at DAXKO.  I walked into a shop that had been voted one of the 50 best small to medium size employers by SHRM for 2 straight years, and that wasn't my doing.  But it sets the stage for why I'm here.

I'm looking for companies that have a culture where team members can experiment with anything that strikes them as interesting.  DAXKO is that kind of place, so a few months ago I started tinkering with the intersection of the things I like: culture, personal brand, showcasing talent and digital media.  The result is DAXKO Nation, so click through and take a look.

The cynics will say it's another blog.  They're right.  BUT, how many other places will you find a company that's willing to allow employees to blog about anything they want without going through an elaborate legal process?  How many other places could I experiment with copy from Jerry McGuire to describe our company's culture?  Some copy from the culture page of DAXKOnation:

"Ah yes… the topic of company culture.  So often bandied about, so difficult to live up to.

We’re reminded of super-agent Jerry Maguire, who once put a mission statement on paper and lost his job as a result.  Our favorite part of that Mission Statement?  Kick it for us old school, Jerry:

“Let us work less hard to sign the clients that we know won’t matter in the long run, and work twice as hard to keep the ones who will. I believe in these words, and while they may not yet be true for you, they are true for me. And I ask that you read this with that in mind.”

Replace “clients” with “team members”, and that’s how we feel about talent - it’s reflected in our culture.  We only want the ones who can make a difference, and we talk about it every single day." 

Poke around the site and let me know what you think.  Internal bloggers get their own badge (ala Fistful of Talent) once they produce 3 quality posts, and yes, we've asked ourselves the "what happens if people use this to recruit our best talent?" question.  Our answer?  We're better off helping them stretch by writing to both internal and external audiences.  We think we have enough going on to retain them.  If we don't, we expect three quality referrals from them in the first year they're gone, or we pull the neutral references (I kid..)

We've been in a soft launch for about a month now, and we're ready to get started with the heavier promotion and engagement, inside our company and out, with customers, candidates and folks on the outside who are interested. 

Last thought: If you get an email from me, you'll see a tagline in my signature that looks something like this:


DAXKO (phone) (cell)

@kris_dunn (twitter)
Connect with me on LinkedIn

The HR Capitalist (Blog)

Fistful of Talent (Blog)


DAXKOnation - The Blog Your Company Would Have If Lawyers Didn't Run the World...


The DAXKO Culture - Jerry McGuire just called, he wants his Mission Statement back...


I work at a place that will allow me to mix it up in that flavor without approval.  Need I say more?



Michael D. Haberman, SPHR

Plus the other reason you work there is your wife nixed ESPN!

Jason Davis

Cool company. Cool site. I know what you mean about the fortune 500s, especially banking - high security, block all social networking sites... all you need for your job is a phone and an excel worksheet!

Rodelio Lagahit

"culture where team members can experiment with anything that strikes them as interesting" - and I found one! Although I'm having a hard time convincing the boss about a certain weird program but I find it easy to skip the protocols - creating a core group (guinea pigs) for my interventions/initiatives LOL! and that's fun..

but darn! I envy you kris for being a part of that culture.... I think I should knock TMX doors and consider their proposal.. :)

Anne M.

Great piece! I thoroughly enjoyed it. This a bit tangential but, all the famous quotes reminded me of why, as an HR Director here in North Carolina, I will never, ever again give an employee an old-fashioned recognition plaque. There are just too many good quotes not to make good use of something like the new customizable, personizable art photos from Successories. I've been using both the desk-top size and the wall size. With a little creativity, it makes a classy, lasting recognition for my employees. I get mine at DYI - Design your Inspiration and share those quotes! Thanks again. Anne


Some time ago, I did need to buy a house for my organization but I didn't earn enough cash and could not order anything. Thank goodness my mate adviced to try to get the loan at creditors. Thus, I acted so and used to be satisfied with my small business loan.

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