The True Value of Transparency

Mar 2019

When you board a plane, train, or automobile, you trust the person at the controls to get you safely to your destination. When you join a company, you expect your boss to do the same. It’s not often that the ‘captain’ trusts you to help plan the journey. When we starting working at KWSM, we instilled faith in our leader to guide us to the right path to grow the company and ourselves. And she has entrusted us with developing the tools to get us there.


When I started at KWSM three years ago, the team explained that our President, Katie Wagner, takes two weeks off every year. This is no vacation. Here at KWSM, we call this “Vision Week,” and it is vital to the success of our organization. During Vision Week, Katie shuts off the email and phone and goes off the grid to focus on strategic planning for the company. After vision week wraps up, Katie returns from her temporary leave to share her vision for the next 6 months with the team. We call this meeting The State of the Company address.


It’s not often as an employee that you’re given full transparency into a company you work for, and it’s this honesty that nurtures our team’s buy-in. We all eagerly anticipate Katie’s State of the Company address.


During our most recent State of the Company, we looked back at our core values, and we reflected on how we embody these traits as a team. In many ways, we live these core values daily, and they are a part of how we interact as colleagues, and how we work with our clients.


We looked at our last 6 months and celebrated how far we have come. We determined our goals and initiatives for 2019, both as a full team, and in each department, since every department has its own effect on the way our company runs day to day.


This most recent State of the Company was my 5th at KWSM. For me, it’s not just about looking forward; it’s about looking back. We’re not the same company we were when I arrived. Since then:

  • I’ve been a part of a great team that has accomplished many goals.
  • I’ve shared successes with clients who have been with us for years.
  • I’ve received client feedback recognizing the positive changes in the customer experience.
  • I’ve helped implement new systems for eager clients who are invested in a new approach to reaching their own customers.
  • I’ve seen fellow employees impressed and engaged by the honesty and forthrightness of our CEO. Most, in their years of experience, have never been as involved in company development as they are asked to be during the State of the Company address.


I know that every six months, KWSM continues to become a better company, and we get a better vision of the path we can create towards transformative results for our clients.

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Core Values at KWSM a digital marketing agency