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Key Idea: Celebrate Often

Partner Carolyne Fox insists that having fun together increases overall productivity. More...

Key Question:

A: 

Have plenty of parties.

MFR is a "people business", selling a service that is delivered by a team of the firm's employees. Each client has their own team so the various employees work with different MFR employees on each assignment. The owners think this means getting everyone together as a group is even more important than in a business where the same group of people work together every day. They take every opportunity to celebrate their successes, from happy hours to bowling tournaments. There is no bowling alone here.

Q:
MFR looks at celebrations as another way to foster communication within the company. It is an opportunity for people to get to know one another better and become closer. This helps to create the "team atmosphere" so critical to the company's success. What other benefits of celebration can you think of?

A: Businesses can use celebrations as a demonstrable means of demonstrating to their employees that they are the most treasured asset of the company. Everyone likes to be appreciated for their efforts and taking the time to show this appreciation is important to building employee loyalty and maintaining an atmosphere of high morale.

Celebrating within a business is like celebrating in a family, it occurs because of an event. If you are looking to create a spirit of "corporate family", some events you might want to celebrate include the landing of a big new account, a big sale to an existing customer, completing a large project for a customer or for internal use, the purchase of new machinery or equipment, and the last payment on a lease or note. Employee centered events like birthdays or employment anniversaries and even retirements can also be cause for celebration.

Once a year, it's a good idea to bring the company's extended family, employee spouses and children, together. This may be a Christmas party or a summer picnic. These events give the business the opportunity to say "thank you" to the families for their support of your employees' efforts.

Think about it

What can you celebrate in your business?  What parties do you have now?  Are they designed to recognize achievement? 

Clip from: Mir Fox Rodriguez: A Study of Resilience

Houston:  Mir Fox & Rodriguez is a CPA firm in Houston.  Their most important product is their public accounting know-how, but this is also a very important story here about turning adversity into greatness.

Most CPAs do not think of themselves as entrepreneurs. They see themselves as players on the team of companies headed by entrepreneurs. Carolyne Fox admits that she would still work in a big, world-famous CPA firm if she had not been forced to leave by a merger.

In this show two of the three founders were fired, "assisted out" by a Big Five firm; they were not invited to become partners. That was 1987. The good-old-boy network weighed woman and minorities by a different standard. Yet, when these three decided to work together, the sum of the whole equaled an entrepreneurial powerhouse with balance, vision, heart and soul. Though they know and respect the rules, these three are also redefining them.

While Gasper Mir works in the community and brings in new clients, Carolyne Fox manages the service side freeing Roland Rodriguez to develop new businesses and work with their offices in Mexico and South America.

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Mir Fox & Rodriguez (CF)

Carolyne Fox, Founder

1900 One Riverway
Houston, TX 77056
713 662 1120

Visit our web site: http://mfrpc.com

Office: 713 662 1120

Business Classification:
Accounting

Year Founded: 1988

Celebrate Often

HATTIE: How do you all celebrate when you get a big new client or you finish a big deal or you get a big check in or--I mean, what do you do?

CAROLYNE: We jump up and down and scream run into each other's offices.

HATTIE: I can see CPAs screaming down the hall. Would you mind demonstrating that for us? Do you ring each other on the telephone, `Oh, we just got this,' or do you have a party or do you--I mean--you know, I mean, something big? I mean, do you celebrate?

GASPER: We used to ring each other and call. Now it's done by e-mail. But generally, it is e-mail when we do let each other know that something has happened. But we do try to spread it.

CAROLYNE: And we do party a lot. After hours.

HATTIE: And people show up?

CAROLYNE: Oh, people show up. People show up. It's a matter of allowing everyone's point of view to be heard and having everyone's point of view matter. You have to really establish a corporate family. Just like you have a family at home that's very important to you, there's a notion of a corporate family, which means that you'll have squabbles, that you will resolve those squabbles. And it means that you'll love each other. You really, truly love and respect each other. And that's what happens here. And we do have our squabbles.

ROLAND: You know, you do need to have the personality relating to being an entrepreneur. It's not for everyone. And in many cases, you know, it gets back down to if you knew what you had to go through, you would never do it. And I've said that a number of cases. I've said, you know, I would not do it if I knew what I had to go through, you know, because it's--there's a tremendous fiduciary responsibility. You know, you've got to make sure that you've got the right personality to be an entrepreneur.

HATTIE: Shoulder the weight.

ROLAND: It gets heavy sometimes.

GASPER: It's challenging, it's tough, but it's great. I am excited when I come to work because of the people I work with and that I have the opportunity to work with, the love that I feel just walking the halls with the people that I get to interact with. I love working with my clients. I love interacting with them. I have something of value to contribute to them. And I can help them achieve their dreams. And I love to be part of that process.

HATTIE: Championing diversity should not just be a business strategy, it should be a way of life. We'll see you next time.

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