Episode 05


Episode 05

With Rob Dube

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of imageOne, Rob Dube

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Today we ask

How can we deliver the extraordinary?

Our actions and decisions have a way of reverberating to the people and places around us. When organizations focus on their team culture, it provides an opportunity for their team to flourish, and by natural extension, their customers flourish alongside them. In this episode we talk with Rob Dube, the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of imageOne, a document management company with an award winning culture. 

By focusing on genuine care and delivering an extraordinary experience, imageOne has been recognized as a Best Place to Work, and by Forbes as a top 25 Small Giant. In this episode, we explore the question: how can we deliver the extraordinary?

Show Notes

Article that Beau references from ZenDesk. 

You can learn more about imageOne at or you can follow Rob and his work at

This podcast is brought to you by the team at The Cultural North. It’s edited and scored by Ethan Gibbs. Written by Beau Walsh and Kaley Herman. You can learn more about our passion for bringing peoples about into action through web, branding, and film by visiting our website at


Beau: This is the about page, a podcast by a group of web makers who explore the connection between what we’re about and what we do

with Kaley Herman, 

Kaley: I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I have like a little dash of it. You got my password but not my fingerprint. I don’t know. 

Beau: Aaron Johnson, 

Aaron: Not a conspiracy theorist but here’s this conspiracy that I’m theorizing about 

Beau: and me, Beau Walsh. 

Tim cook is like sneaking into a bank and he’s like “Here’s Kaley’s fingerprint. She did the bank robbery.” 

And today we discuss the question, how can we deliver the extraordinary.

Being really great at what we do comes from a lot of hard work and talent and opportunity, but amazing skills can lack an extra factor that it takes to contribute something extraordinary to the world, because what we accomplished can be so much more enriched when we consider who we’re accomplishing it for.

And that comes from our character, how we go about the world and who we truly are.

Rob: Well, I don’t know who I am, who does really know who they are. I’m still finding that out, but I was named Rob Dube. So that’s my name. And, um, you know, my, uh, what I do is I’m co CEO of, a company that I founded with my best friend 30 years ago. Um, his name’s Joel Perlman and, uh, the two of us as we came out of college, we started selling toner supplies for printers.

Beau: And that evolved into a business where they now provide what’s called managed print services.

Rob: And that is where we sell, supply, and service multi-function printers and copiers. Now had you told me that I would ever be in a business like this? When I was getting into my, adult life, I would’ve said absolutely not.

But if you go back to when Joel and I were in high school, we actually began our entrepreneurial career selling, blow, pop lollipops. So those are those lollipops with the gum in the middle, out of our locker. 

Beau: They would buy the blow pops from Joel’s uncle who owned a drug store for a nickel, and then sell them for a quarter.

Rob: And let’s face it, great margins, great product, no one ever complained. They always wanted more. Right. So, um, and then we just had all kinds of different, you know, entrepreneurial ventures in, in high school and then in college together. So when we came out of college, honestly, just having a business was like a dream come true.

I wasn’t even thinking about like making money or having lots of employees or, you know, anythings like that. I mean, just Joel and I in this little 200 square foot room was good enough for me. Um, it just seemed like all a big dream and, uh, and that’s kinda what it’s been like for the last 30 years. And I’m still dreaming.

Beau: And that dream went from just Rob and Joel out of college to a team of 60 people. 

Rob: Um, you know, so we were really running most things by the seat of our pants for many years, uh, and impactful, uh, thing that happened for us was a little less than 10 years into the business. And it did take that long. We met somebody who taught us really how to run and operate a business properly.

His name’s Gino Wickman, and he created something called the entrepreneurial operating system, or better known as E O S he has best-selling book called Traction that many people are familiar with. 

Beau: Traction is a book that has helped countless businesses across the world, get a grip on running their business and actually seeing long-term growth from the vision and beyond. Our team is actually one of the more recent converts in our first year of implementing it.And we’ve seen big changes already.

Rob: And so we were one of his first clients and we learned through him how to, you know, really run and operate our business, um, and all the key components that go into that.

And it made a huge difference once we had that foundation built, um, you know, the growth could really accelerate. Uh, it, it really helped us enough so that within five years of us implementing his program, um, and really staying diligent with it, we were approached by a public company, uh, to sell. And we did, we sold the company in 2004 and, uh, we operated it as a wholly owned subsidiary for 18 months. And then so in 2006 we were given the unique opportunity to actually buy it back.

And at that time we had learned more things, uh, specifically what we did not want out of business. We started to realize for the first time ever having worked for somebody, in a large company at that, things that we just didn’t like and things that we would not want our team members to have to go through, because these were things that we were going through. 

And we happened to read a book called Small Giants written by, uh, somebody by the name of Bo Burlingham. And this book, um, it chronicles companies all over the world, really that are purpose driven and care deeply about the totality of their team members lives. And so we took that to heart and learned and tracked down Bo Burlingham learned more about these companies 

in fact, we joined a traveling group with Bo and he brought, uh, eight companies, around the country for almost 10 years, uh, twice per year, we would go to cities and meet with companies that were small giants and we would grab nuggets, you know, here and there and bring them back to our organization.

Beau: And throughout that journey, imageOne was recognized by Forbes magazine is one of the top twenty-five small giant companies in America, as well as Michigan’s number one small business to work for. It’s easy to see that they learn a great deal from the international powerhouse business coaches and their philosophies.

But one of the biggest seeds of their future purpose came from a small deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Rob: So, back when we were requiring the company and thinking about things that were important to us, we thought a lot about a lesson that we had learned in college. This was one of these unintentional learnings where it sort of oozes into you, but you don’t realize it until later, maybe.

Zingerman’s Deli Impact on ImageOne

Um, we, we used to go to this place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a deli called Zingerman’s deli. Now it’s grown to be quite an enterprise, a community of businesses actually.

But back then, it was just a small deli and people would line up as they still do today around the corner. And if you’re, if you’re familiar with Michigan, you know, it’s cold in the winter, but yet people would do it. They’d stand out there. Now, why would you stand in line for a deli sandwich in the freezing cold weather?

Unless something special was going on and look, we all love food. Let’s face it, but it’s more than the food. It’s the experience. And so they would have people, um, of, you know, so diverse coming outside with this amazing energy, knowledgeable about their products and truly care. Just truly care about taking great care of you and the entire experience that you’re going through.

So like if it’s cold, they might bring you hot chocolate. And then they might recommend some things on the menu, which is filled with, you know, hundreds of items. It’s almost overwhelming. And then when you get in finally to the warm deli, you’re still in line for a little bit or online for a little bit. And they have on the one side, they have a bread making station. And the other side, they have this, you know, these, these, uh, all these unique cheeses from all over the world and meats and this and that. And they’re giving you samples. You want to try this? You want to try that. And it’s, it’s all kinds of stuff. That’s just energy coming from everywhere. 

And then you get up to the person who’s going to take your order and they’re body to body with you. They’re not behind a counter they’re right there with you. And you’re looking up at this, this menu, that’s up on the wall. That’s written really cool, uh, by, you know, handwritten and you don’t know what you’re going to do, and they guide you somehow through the process. And it’s every step of the way caring and, and because of it, as a result of it, they could charge the prices they charge and, and make a really healthy business out of this and provide a really unique experience, 

not just for the customer, but for the team members too. It’s great training it’s cause it’s life training. You’re learning how to work with people, um, customers and, and team members alike that are all unique, you know, and finding a way to connect with them. 

So back to us using this, this unintentional lesson that we learned in college, And we thought about how they would deliver this extraordinary experience to us and Zingerman’s.

And then we started thinking about the ways that we put our own spin on that over the years. And, and this became for us what you would call delivering the X it’s our purpose to deliver the X to everyone every day, every time, and how we define the X is genuine care that consistently drives extraordinary energy, actions and experiences.

So that’s a guiding thing for us is for us to think about that each and every day, when we’re working with each other as a team, when we’re working with our customers, our stakeholders, and those could be our vendors or, you know, people in the community. And then. What we really get excited about when we talk about community, it’s how we show up when it has nothing to do with imageOne it’s on your way in when you stop by the coffee shop to pick up your coffee and how you show up.

So these principles just like Zingerman’s can be used in our everyday lives, could be used with your family, your loved ones, your friends, or like I say, you know, the person at the checkout line or the person who cuts you off in traffic, you know, instead of cursing them, you can send them loving kindness, cause they’re not interested in cutting you off.

And if they are, you know, they have something else going on and it has nothing to do with you.

Why Deliver the Extraordinary? 

Beau: So then the question becomes “why deliver the X?” and I think on the first response is just that it’s makes it makes good business sense you know in the end doing extraordinary work, with an extraordinary attitude is going to grow your business, and it’s going to help create a better quality company.

But then I think the secondary thing is that it gives purpose to things like printers, printer management, graphic design whatever it is that you do Uh you can have purpose in that by seeing that the vision of what you’re doing is actually bigger than what it is you’re doing. And so I think that’s that’s the idea for deliver the X for me is that it’s, it’s bigger than just the mission whatever you’re doing every day It gets to this vision of seeing the world in a new state and transformed over decades and through tons of people as it spreads Um, and I think that’s what creates a um a spreadable infectious uh, culture. To use some gross words..

Aaron: No I think you’re absolutely right And you know if you start showing up at work with you know extraordinary character and extraordinary execution and then all of a sudden you start showing up in your social realm and your social spheres with extraordinary character and you start showing up at um community events with extraordinary relationships Now you’re influencing culture It’s not just you you know it’s not just selling printers is not just designing websites It’s not just serving coffee Now I’m starting to show up and infect, more icky words, I’m starting to influence That’s the better word influence the culture around me And I’m building culture that is filled with extraordinary people.

I think what you do you have to you have to take what’s ordinary And then pour a little bit more into it and to make it that extra ordinary like these are these are ordinary things that people are doing across businesses right Whether you’re meeting people or having phone calls or designing websites or there’s normal ordinary functions that most people are doing how do you take that to the next level? Like what’s what’s N plus one that’s really going to drive the experience that somebody is going to look back on and go I’m really glad I engaged with this person on that.

Beau: One of the things that we’ve talked about before is this idea of the low hanging fruit of of emotions and responses that we tend to have as humans um which are things like laziness or selfishness or bitterness and that those are are really easy to grasp in a lot of situations And I think this extraordinary uh goal is really about pushing past any of those and and stretching ourselves a little bit more And I think when we practice that in work it starts to bleed out into our lives and into like he said our our way to work, our way home, you know and so I think that’s one of the things that that I see business and especially imageOne doing is being able to push past those those kind of raw initial reactions and emotions and finding something that’s that much more uh, fulfilling and profitable in terms of relationships. 

Aaron: yeah Looking at that phrase you and you talked about not having a pithy phrase or or and embodying that you really kind of hit the nail on the head that everything is focused on others And even in reading through the deliver the X material I think, to me, the most in that phrase is “to.” it’s delivered the X to everyone every day every time So that phrase of I’m not delivering the X every one every day every time if you leave out the to that means it’s all internal That’s, it’s internal to me Like everyone that’s on our team is delivering the X and that’s powerful It’s good But when you say delivering the X to everyone now it means that I have to embody that and actually share that with everyone I have to deliver extraordinary character. 

Kaley: And in the example of Zingerman’s I was just thinking about if there were you know two or three people who were in charge of that entire experience of someone’s in line and they’re talking with you and then when you get up to the counter that they’re like helping you with the menu.That would just not be feasible. So I think it’s really important to have both where you have a value that’s really strong about coming alongside people but you also then have the capacity to execute that really well because if you don’t have both of those you’re going to end up with employees who are burnt out and customers who are upset because you know they had this great experience And then the next time you couldn’t bring that same level of delivery that they came to expect. 

Aaron: Right Yeah The expectation side of it is if they’ve had that experience once and you go back and you don’t have that experience again it’s like well what changed Like why 

Beau: I actually just read today that uh Zendesk did a study with that and found that 50% of customers will leave a company after one bad experience and then 80% will leave after more than one bad experience. 

Aaron: Yeah that makes sense And yeah, you don’t have many chances.

The Infrastructure that makes the Experience Possible

Kaley: It does make me think even more about the infrastructure that makes that possible because um so I volunteer at uh doing a meal for the community and in that it’s it also relates to traction of the right person right seat where something that we talk about is that you know maybe you’re not the person greeting everyone Maybe you’re the person that’s cooking And I think in that example of Zingerman’s there’s the same thing where you have to have the infrastructure in order to do this. And it’s not necessarily the the shiny thing that probably gets talked about in something like delivering the X But I think it is the most important component of the right seat right Person And being able to have that level of execution you have to have the right people doing that in order for that to have longevity and not just be a one-stop shop. 

Beau: Yeah Yeah You’re not caring for people if you’re creating a culture that isn’t sustainable Um and so if imageOne was all about delivering the X to the expense of the people delivering the X then that’s just going to crumble and not last the 30 years that it’s lasted. Whereas I think a lot of it is it’s it says delivering the X to everyone every day every time if if you if a whole group of people take on that mission then you get this kind of freedom to then start to work more selflessly and an empty yourself because you’re being poured into by others so it only works in a community um in a company that has kind of committed to these values. Otherwise, if it was one person and nobody else kind of took on that mantle or or just the leader it’s gonna start to crumble.

Beau: And where does the motivation for delivering the X come from? Well, for image one, it has to be rooted in a genuine care for people. 

Rob: I mean, why wouldn’t we care? You have this life to live and you can choose what, what do you want to choose? You want to choose not to care? That sounds like a choice that’s not worth choosing. Um, when we care, it feeds us. It, it generates energy. 

Rob: You know, at our company, we call it the cycle of care. It’s the energy that, that we bring to each other. And that energy goes to our customers and our stakeholders, and that energy goes out into the universe. And so caring is just the ticket to the game.

Beau: And one of the ways that imageOne practices, genuine care is a tradition that they call “We Care Fridays.”

Rob: I was trying to think about some ideas around how could we do something unique to give somebody a day off? You know, unsuspectingly, and I, I got thinking a bit about when I was a kid and there’d be a snow day here in Michigan, and you didn’t have to go to school, and you’d just stay in your pajamas and watch cartoons all day and it was like the greatest thing ever. 

And, you know, I just thought about how busy our lives are. And like, even when we have a day off, we’re doing something, we’re like being productive, doing all the things we’ve been meaning to do that we haven’t had time to do. So we just never stop. And I thought, well, what if on Thursday night we called somebody at like eight or nine o’clock.

And we just said, here’s the deal we got you covered. So don’t worry about a thing. All your, all your responsibilities are handled tomorrow. When you wake up, stay in your pajamas and watch cartoons all day, but just please don’t go and run errands and don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t be busy tomorrow, just chill and just see what that’s like.

Beau: In the short term, initiatives, like we care Fridays are financial and logistical sacrifices. That can be a challenge to implement. Not having a team member present can slow things down and cost more money, but when done right, they can bring sustainability to the people of an organization and are worth it in the long term.

Rob: Well, how do we balance people’s lives? You know, I mean, is it all about productivity? And if this person doesn’t come in that then we won’t make a sale that day. I think you have bigger issues if that’s your issue. Yeah. If you really want to do something, you figure it out. Yeah. You just figure it out. It doesn’t have to be easy…

And the people that are doing it easy, you know, they may not have the same results as somebody who isn’t doing it easy because you’re going to have a different kind of product.

Genuine Care at Work

Kaley: I think the idea of caring for people or what that actually means I think it’s always important to see that it’s different for everyone not only how they care for others but how they want to feel cared for Um 

Because this is getting into a love languages which might feel a little bit weird but I think it’s really applicable because if if someone is just really complimentary of me but has not if there’s no actions that support that I get really thrown off by that because it’s like oh you say all of these things but then you leave me out to dry you know and not prepared and you know whatever that might be

Beau: so you’re more acts of service based 

Kaley: yeah I’m like huge acts of service because if words are not aligned with actions like when it’s when it’s acts of service and that 

Aaron: I’m sorry

Beau: Aaron is words of affirmation 

Aaron: uh I’m physical touch but 

Beau: well that doesn’t 

Aaron: doesn’t apply here

but I am words of affirmation I agree Yes That’s a that’s a distant second 

Kaley: in a workplace environment we’ve got to kind of keep it there Um but it’s that’s so interesting for me because if acts of service are there and then words of affirmation come in then the words of affirmation means something 

Aaron: Sure 

Kaley: But if if there’s just words of affirmation and no acts of service I just feel it’s like I’m not cared for at all So I think knowing what care means for every person is is so important And that’s why like love languages gets brought in to relationships Because if you’re if you’re trying to care for someone in a way that does not feel caring for them they’re going to just feel like oh I feel alone I feel unsupported rather than oh you’re actually considering what I need in this situation 

Beau: that’s interesting Cause cause uh acts of service and words of affirmation are pretty distant for me you know I think both of those make me feel uncomfortable Um whereas the strong one for me is quality time and that’s why conversation is such an important thing for me and you know interaction and listening and Aaron what are you laughing about

Aaron: I just like this is dynamics is just awesome It’s just so funny 

Beau: because we’re all so different

Aaron: yeah well we’re also different but it’s also just like the way that well like being your business partner you’re like I need to talk to you And I’m like okay. 

Beau: I don’t need I don’t need somebody to say you did a good job because I find that like unhelpful I just want to find that source in myself And I don’t like people doing things for me because then I feel like oh what do I owe you 

Aaron: What do I have to give you back

Beau: Yeah And so that just makes me uncomfortable but then just like having a good conversation where I feel like we’re in sync and we’re getting everything out and and feeling you know having a good time together in some sort of capacity that’s what makes me just feel like everything’s good 

Aaron: Yeah It’s it’s just great It’s it’s so it’s so interesting to see how these you know we’re talking about them now but they’ve played out they’ve played out on a day-to-day basis and it is relevant to know how people are cared for and how to care for people appropriately Um and I love how that caring really works as like a force multiplier because if you’re caring for first of all yourself and then you’re caring for other people in the ways that they are now they are… Rob talks about energy and it’s really like an energy multiplier So like if I care for you guys the way that you love to be cared for and you feel supported and cared for and encouraged and then you’re going to turn around and you’re going to do that for other people as well. And so like it goes from the person to the team to the clients and now even the clients themselves are turning around and they’re effecting the community And so really it is it is a multiplier of encouragement.

Beau: Yeah I think I think it’s it’s striving to know and be known I think when we create a culture around desiring to know others and um a desire to be known ourselves I think that creates that kind of culture that we’re talking about Um and it becomes all about people I mean one of the values that we’ve taken on as a company for ourselves is humanity.

And I think one of the coolest ways that  we’ve gotten to express that is as we sit down at a meeting for clients we say okay our value is humanity How are you doing today And genuinely wanting to know and digging deeper into that just to kind of get their emotions on the table get their humanity out there so that we can um not try to avoid that and say we’re here for work Like remembering that these are people. 

Aaron: And genuinely not just say how you doing and then look down and not worry about it but like no I’m not taking notes at this moment genuinely interested in how you’re doing 

Beau: yeah yeah This isn’t going on my Rolodex So that later on when I call and say well how were the kids you know to kind of get brownie points 

Aaron: Yeah. 

Beau: I think caring for people is that ultimate denominator for creating the best team in services and company If you think about um those things creating a good team if you care about the people obviously you’re going to you’re going to build a good team If you care about people when it comes to services you’re caring about your customers your customers customers and your team giving out those services And if you care about the company you care about all of those things together Um but it it that denominator that makes those all successful is people And you if you really care and elevate the people it rises all the ships.

Living out your company’s values

Rob:  You’re always living the values. And so you want to recognize it all the time. And those are the opportunities to share, you know, with each other when we see it and when we’re not seeing it, but we should be seeing it, you know? So you can have intentional ways. Like, for example, when we do an all hands company meeting, which takes place once per month, we go over our values each and every month and everybody knows.

It’s like, I always say, when I see the eyes roll, that’s good because everyone’s like, I know the values. Do we have to keep going over them? Yes, we do. Actually we do. We actually do. Yes. And that will be the way it will be forever. Um, and, and in your one-on-one meetings, you know, your rhythms with people, departmental meetings. Yes. You’re always looking for ways to incorporate the values.

Be very mindful about coming up with your kitschy phrase, because if you all, the entire organization, isn’t rallying behind it from their heart, then it will become a source of jokes. And, and so there it is important to have a group.

It, depending on size your organization and all that kind of stuff, but it is important to have a group of people who really believe it from their heart, take it seriously, you know, and, and really, really are committed to it. Like not for the next two years until it gets boring. And then they want a new phrase.

I’m saying like this phrase gonna stick with us forever. It’s always going to have meaning to us. And when we talk about it, your people in the organization are going to feel it’s seriousness that, you know, and that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean it needs to be heavy. Like, Ooh, this is serious. It means like, this is serious.

Like we’re serious about DTXing around here. Like we’re always talking about it and I get it. Like, I feel it, I see it, you know? And so it is really important to when you roll that out, when you come up with the fun phrase and maybe there’s a logo sometimes and things like that, and you put it on the wall and you’re, it’s exciting.

And you know, it’s important to, to be able to live with the boring side of it. And that’s after like two months when everybody’s sick of hearing about it and you’ve the leader, some of the leadership team might feel weird, bringing it up all the time, like, you know, deliver the X, you know, and I’m talking, you know, no, You show up and you’re just so excited to talk about it and it oozes out of you. And when it’s oozing out of you, people feel that energy and they, and they, they catch onto it and then they develop, they develop the same energy. It takes time.

Kaley: So I think with intentionality when you’re thinking about not only do I want to say something but I want to deliver on it, there is such a level of consistency that we are incapable of as humans of always doing something we can never like we never always it’s impossible So 

Aaron: the one thing that you will never do 

Beau: be consistent 

Aaron: be consistent

Kaley: can’t do it 

Aaron: So we are consistently inconsistent 

Kaley: and so there’s that level of grace that we have to have in even someone who seems like they’re always on time that they’re never late for something they will be late at some point And it may affect you in them being late when you have come to rely on them for always being on time. So I think in in delivering the X and having those things that we’re being really intentional in it is the striving and not arriving And that’s how you’re actually able to deliver something is that you’re looking at it as something I can get there, and that’s always the goal, and when I fall short I’m not going to just destroy myself over falling short but I’m constantly striving to reach that importance that I’ve set.

Beau: Yeah Intentionality with grace That’s why um you know we said before when Our values as a company is humanity but the other one is intentionality Um but that’s the reason why we added humanity as a value as well is because we can we can be hyper intentional about everything that we do um with goals and with you know meetings and relationally we can be intentional with each other Um but we are humans we do fail and we aren’t consistent Um, we’re forgetful And so even just having consistent reminders of the humanity of the people involved um I think that’s going to create a more sustainable intentionality. Otherwise we’re all gonna break down when something unintentional happens.

Aaron: yeah And and if you read more into imageOne and the culture that Rob and his business partner have developed there, they really do embody these deliver the X principles on a daily basis to the point where you have people you have service techs like Beau was just saying you have service techs that answered the phone and everyone that is calling that number has a problem they are not happy with what they are doing or what’s what’s happening. And these people love their jobs. They genuinely love their jobs because they love the culture of the place that they work. They love the people that they work with They love their their clients and they’re delivering extraordinary experiences for their clients on a day-to-day basis. And every single person that they call has a problem. And they don’t see it as a burden, they see it as an opportunity to care for them 

Rob: Well, you know, I’ll do it two ways. The first thing I would say is, is first and foremost, we’re here to provide genuine care to everyone every day, every time. And that’s not. And we don’t always do it, but that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re about. You know, that’s at the forefront of our minds. That’s what, you know, we wake up, I’m excited to think about how can I provide genuine care if somebody comes to me, you know, a curve ball and I’m like, okay, that’s disrupting my day. Well, wait a second. This isn’t about me. How can I provide genuine care at this moment? You know? And so, you know, that’s the first thing. 

What we do, the widgets that we sell, that we’re proud of managed print services, like most businesses, there’s a lot of choices for the consumers out there. We’re not the only one that does what we do. We’re not the only one that has a good culture. Right? It’s all about how we show up and how the people that we’re working with, the other humans, the humans on the other side, sort of perceive us. Do they set a group of genuine people? Do they sense like honesty, you know, do they sense vulnerability?

Do they sense people that, you know, really want to flawlessly execute, even though they don’t all the time and when they don’t, they’re vulnerable and they own it and they learn from it and they move on quickly. Do they sense those things? Do they sense people that are learning and really invested in wanting to help you get better or help your situation at your company be better? Do they sense that, It’s just the human to human interaction.

So when let’s say a customer asks us, well, what do you do that’s so special? I say, you know, I mean, we, we have a process that we’re really proud of, and I’m going to go through that with you, but how we take care of you. But at the end of the day, it’s our people that make the that’s really the differentiator. And, we have this unique opportunity in business to do things different, you know, to not, you know, uh, be upset when somebody leaves the company, like you’re dead to me or something like now you’re not part of us.

Okay. You’re not part of us anymore. You know, you’re always part of us. You planted the seeds in our place and you’re part of what sprouted up, you know, your ideas, your work, it will carry on for years and years and years, whether you were here for a week or whether you were here for a long time, You know, and, and so in business, we’re really all of us in business, whether we’re leaders or business owners or people that are part of a team that come to work and we’re employed by an employer, you know, it’s just all about dealing with other humans and how we decide to show up each and every day.

And it’s way more fun when you show up in a way that comes with genuine care 

or we’ve had people when people leave the company, we send them flowers on their first day with the new company that they’re joining. You know, so it’s just, what can you do? You know, it’s, how can you show up in this world and be a really wonderful human being? You know, when we send somebody flowers on their new, uh, their first day with their new company, after they left our company, that makes us feel as good as it might make them feel.

I mean, it always feels good to be a giver.

You know, our paths, all of ours in life are curvy. You know what I mean? They go every which way you think you think you’re going one way and you think you got it all figured out and it curves whether you do it intentionally or you don’t people that come to, you know, the humans that decide to join our company.

Oh, it’d be great if they were here forever and all that, but that’s never my expectation. I’m just grateful for whatever amount of time that we have the unique opportunity to spend with them and what we get to learn from those people. And whether it’s a long time or whether it’s a short period of time where, you know, we got to learn who they were as a person and how they work and learn from the kind of work that they do.

And if we’re just an in-between point on their path, that’s fantastic. I am so excited about that. And if they’re here for their whole career, that’s fantastic too. And I’m excited about that. You know, it’s just different things for different people. And also understanding that we’re just crossing paths at this point in our life, and let’s embrace our time together and really get to know each other on a human scale. And that’s what really matters.

Beau: We say that your about is your stories, your values and your vision, and from Rob we’re learning that those can all be elevated when they center around people. Your story is where you develop your personhood in light of engaging with others. Your values are how you choose to engage with people around you and your vision can be the lofty future you dream of to enable the most amount of humans to thrive.

And the work that we do, whatever work we do, can be a vessel or a tool to get our values out into the world. And that work can have a longer lasting impact because it turns out that following through on values creates the best services and the most uplifted people and successful companies.

ImageOne is really good at managed print services. They’ve gotten to a place I don’t think they could get to with 30 years of caring about money and the bottom line, but by caring about people, people who give the services and people who receive the services, they’ve built both a strong outwardly spreading culture and an amazing internal company.

You can learn more about imageOne at or you can follow Rob and his work at

Rob: Uh, there’s some free resources on the site, and, uh, I’m happy to chat with anybody who’s got questions or anything.

So, feel free to contact me through the website. There’s a way to contact me and I’ll a hundred percent, you know, get back with you. Um, and nothing’s too small or too big. Um, it’s an honor to be able to, to chat. 

Beau: This show is brought to you by the team at the cultural north, a design agency in Duluth, Minnesota.

It’s edited and scored by Ethan Gibbs. And it’s written by Beau Walsh and Kaley Herman. 

You can learn more about our passion for bringing peoples about into action through web, branding, and film by visiting our website at

And thanks for listening, we’re still a very new podcast. So any amount of sharing, reviewing, and rating of our show, wherever it is, convenient is a huge help for us. And you can also learn more and share more at