IT and Culture with Elanor Riley from Bell’s

We want to go to work in a place that we actually enjoy, right? That’s something culture is all about and there are a lot of organizations realizing it’s not just about checking the boxes for necessary features when we make these IT decisions.

During Build IT Together in May of 2015, we spoke with Zach DeYoung of Maestro, Elanor Riley of Bell’s Brewing, and Bobby Hopewell of Medical Health Resources, to get 3 different perspectives on how IT can impact company culture (and visa-versa). Elanor Riley is a web developer at Bell’s Brewing, Inc, whose IT team has grown significantly in recent years, and she shared ways that IT has proliferated the inherent passion within Bell’s culture. In the second installment of our 3 part series on technology and culture, here’s a recap of Elanor’s talk from the event.

Passion is key

“Bell’s is an extremely unique and positive environment—most people within the company rave about the culture, and they describe it as if you’re working with your friends every day, doing something amazing. It’s like you’re getting in on the ground floor every day, except it’s with this huge company. It’s really rewarding getting to work with this company, and people who know so much about what they do, and are so passionate about it—they’ve got experts on IT, on brewing, on manufacturing and packaging and design. I love how smart all these people are—and it’s just a beer company!

The IT dept at Bell’s is interesting because it’s relatively young. We’ve got new people, like myself, who manage the website, we’ve got server administrators, we’re starting to get into the nitty-gritty of IT—operations, rather than just keeping the lights on. It’s an awesome opportunity for culture because we’re all friends, but we’re all broadening the organization in interesting ways.”

Building community with tech

“At Bell’s, we have this group of passionate people who love the company they work for, but how do you pass that on to new people? Honestly, you just make them feel included. Make them feel like family.

All over the plant and the cafe, we have monitors that cycle through pictures of all the employees—new, old, Larry and Laura Bell—and interesting tidbits like their names, where they grew up. You’ve got no excuse not to know who these people are, and I think that’s cool because they want everyone to know each other.”

 

How does your IT help connect your team? We love seeing the potential of simple tools—like the monitors at Bell’s, or even something like a knowledgebase for new hires—bringing an organization together. Want to learn more about culture and IT? Check out our recap of Bobby Hopewell’s talk next week!

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About

Daniel Proczko has been working with organizations and individuals to build & grow the entrepreneur community of Kalamazoo, MI. From organizing TEDx events, hack-a-thons, and documentary screenings to engaging with business leaders, Dan strives to inspire individuals with new ideas and better thinking. Having always been interested in tech and understanding the value of innovation through IT, communicating the importance of strategic IT thinking is one of Dan's primary goals within Newmind Group.