We are passionate about construction.
Six Years | Six Lessons LearnedDecember 23,2021
In November 2021, CK Commercial celebrated its sixth anniversary. To commemorate this special milestone, Mike Crim, CK Commercial’s Founder and Lead Strategist, shared six important lessons the company has learned and embraced in its journey.
Lesson 1: Put in the Work.
The journey of CK started with the goal of creating not only a different kind of construction company but a different kind of workplace overall. I envisioned a company that prioritized its people and culture first above all else and focused on executing the minute details extremely well, each and every day. At the core of it, I believe that GREATNESS lies in the constant successful execution of the little things every day over a long period of time. Six years later, I can say it took and continues to take a lot of intentional work! That work also includes a significant amount of self-reflection and learning to trust yourself while trusting the process and realizing that everything works out if you stay the course. Although I knew this journey would be hard work, I didn’t always realize the mental and physical extent of an undertaking it would take. I’ve learned a lot about myself, others and ultimately what type of company CK strives to be.Through it all, I have learned that when you are truly passionate about something and add in an amazing team that shares that passion, has high hopes, and wakes up every day willing to put in the work, the sum is greater than the parts.
Lesson 2: Set Boundaries.
Building a company is not easy. Building a high-performing, culture-driven company is even harder. So far, it has been an adventure and has included its peaks and valleys. Another important lesson I have learned is to set boundaries. I had to learn what healthy boundaries are, learn and understand working with differing personalities and why it is important to focus on your mental health throughout this journey. It is a work in progress, and I have learned that I, too, am a work in progress. But by setting healthy boundaries to make sure that I can tackle the challenges of each day, business and personal, allows me to focus on the good. CK was born with the hope and intention of doing good. Doing good not only for our clients but also by creating a healthy and fulfilling workplace culture that helps provide a more positive experience and end product for our Team Members. Providing a space where we have a hard-working team that works tirelessly to deliver better projects for our clients and knows that to do that, they need to make sure they are taking care of themselves and their mental health. Prioritizing our people has been our focus from the beginning. Through that focus, we have had higher levels of accountability and engagement on our team, which has directly impacted our success as a company. Our passion is our people, and our people are building better projects and creating a more enjoyable construction experience for our clients.
Lesson 3: Fail Forward.
Each year as CK celebrates another anniversary, I pause to reflect on where we are now and how we got here and how do we continue to improve. The last six years have been a humbling journey, and I strongly believe we got to where we are today by embracing our failures and learning from each struggle along the way.
As a general philosophy, we embrace the importance of learning from our failures and our growth from those failures. We often use the phrase “fail forward” as a reminder to embrace the importance of learning through our failures. We have built a culture of trust and accountability through open communication and being transparent with one another. The only way we can truly build trust is to understand and embrace our failures and support, teach, and learn as a team with each setback. This culture has been key in building a team that goes the extra mile on every project, whether big or small or simple or complex. We approach every project with the same level of grit and intensity. It is in those moments of adversity that we decide who we are and who we want to be for our team and our clients.
Lesson 4: Prioritize Wellness
Over the years, wellness has become a huge part of the CK culture. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, one of the reasons prioritizing wellness is high on our list is because I had to learn the hard way. Throughout the ups and downs of building CK, my mental and physical wellness often took a backseat. By setting boundaries, we were able to focus on ensuring that our hardworking team and their wellness would be a core part of our corporate culture. But don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a perfect process, and I often find myself needing to reprioritize my wellness. For that reason, we have to remind ourselves to keep it as a focal point continuously. We often do team fitness challenges, running events and we even have provided meal delivery services to help our team manage stress and encourage healthy habits.
Most recently, when designing our new headquarters, wellness was the top priority on the type of environment we wanted to build. While most companies may not be allocating a larger footprint per person (others are reducing their footprint), especially with many teams remaining remote, we chose to do the opposite. The new headquarters was designed and built with wellness in mind. The new space includes a quiet meditation/ health and wellness space, fitness area, and even private offices when a focused, quiet workspace is needed. The idea was to provide various workspace environments options to accommodate what the team might need in various situations ranging from open workspace to phone rooms to huddle rooms to private offices to conference rooms and even café seating/meeting areas. We, as a team, have a passion for construction and our clients. We work hard to create an easier construction experience and bring each client’s vision to life. Because of this, we want to make sure that each CK Team Member has what they need for optimum mental and physical wellness by providing a work environment focused on wellness.
Lesson 5: Make it Fun.
We take our work seriously but not ourselves. Over the past six years, that has become one of our mottos. We work hard and like to have fun and we set out to build a different kind of company; we wanted our workplace culture to encourage everyone to be themselves and embrace their quirkiness. It is what makes our company a best place to work year after year, and we hope that beyond the recognition we receive, that our team genuinely enjoys growing their career with us. We value teamwork, collaboration and getting the job done right while putting the well-being of our team first. Our team truly enjoys what we do, and our ultimate goal is that our passion for construction and collaboration is evident in each and every project we build.
Lesson 6: Keep Moving Forward.
new office space, we reflect back on our first six years with gratitude. We are focused on the future and our ability to keep moving forward. We also remain focused on our desire to keep growing, improving, and redefining construction through our passion. These past six years have been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs (including a pandemic!), but one very important thing we have learned through the process is how grateful we are for so many things. We are grateful that we get to do what we love with the best team every day. We are grateful that we have clients who trust us with the special job of bringing their vision of their project or space to life. We are grateful for the design partners and trade partners that work with us to design and build award-winning projects. And finally, we are grateful for our team and families who support us day in and day out as we continue to work hard to chase our dream of redefining construction.