Want to be the Supreme Bean?

A couple posts from the always insightful Phil Gerbyshak and the beautiful and passionate Kammie Kobyleski (sorry Phil, you just don’t quite make it to beautiful!) have me thinking about how critical it is to bring our passion and positive attitude to work every day.  How you celebrate doing that says a great deal about your organization’s culture…and your brand.

At McLellan Marketing Group, we embrace our sense of teamwork with a bit of proverbial tongue in cheek.  Everyone is assigned a different kind of bean.  Because of my habitual kidney stones, yes…you guessed it, I got kidney beans.  There are lima, coffee, pinto and a variety of others.


We also printed up index sized cards that say "You’ve been beaned" and have some room to write a note.  The premise is simple.  When one of your teammates goes out of their way to be helpful or supportive — you bean them.  You write a little note, thanking them for what they did and leave the note and one of your beans on their desk.

At the end of every month, we tally the beans.  Whoever received the most beans is declared the "Supreme Bean" and heralded by everyone. They also receive a $10 gift card.

Over the years, many of the employees have created quite a collection of beans that they proudly display on their desks in a variety of creative containers.

Easy.  Cheap.  Fun.  And a great way to declare our absolute intent to be passionate about the work we do, our clients and perhaps most of all, each other.  Do you suppose when we add a team member and explain the whole bean thing, they get a sense that team focused is one of our core values?

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5 comments on “Want to be the Supreme Bean?

  1. I don’t quite make the cut for beautiful? That’s okay, I’ll take “always insightful” any day I can get it.

    I like the “beanings.” A fun, personal way to interact with others on your team in a meaningful way. I’ve seen rocks, where you right “U Rock!” on them and then share them with a note about why you rock. Same idea. Neither are about the bean, or the rock. It’s all about the true meaning. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Phil,

    Some of us have settle for insightful. The curse of Mother Nature!

    You’re exactly right…beans, rocks, high fives — the mechanisms don’t matter. The recognition matters. The saying “thank you” matters. The reminder that we are a team matters.

    To steal your phrase…hearing a thank you from a co-worker makes it a great day!

  3. Starbucker says:

    Great idea Drew! Love the blog too. Look forward to future posts (and ideas). All the best.

  4. Starbucker,

    I’ve been reading and enjoying you for awhile so it’s nice to have you stop by!

    I’m looking forward to more conversation and shared ideas!

  5. Kammie,

    No need to apologize — just be sure to stop by more often!

    Always happy to provide some link love to an inspiring blog like yours!


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