August is a big PTO month at Plante Moran. Lots of staff are taking well-earned vacations to all kinds of destinations. I ran into a colleague recently after her road trip to Nashville and asked her how she enjoyed it. “It was amazing,” she enthused. “Especially seeing the Grand Ole Opry. It reminded me of Plante Moran.”
Intrigued, I asked her why. (After all, it’s hard to believe an accounting firm would have much in common with a place that houses Minnie Pearl memorabilia.) She said it came down to two things. First, more of an emphasis is placed on the institution than the artists who perform there. No matter who you are—Carrie Underwood or someone who just released his first radio single—you only perform three songs on a given night. Egos aren’t tolerated, and the artists who are lucky enough to be invited to join the Opry abide by certain philosophies, much like Plante Moran staff abide by our guiding principles.
Second, she said that there are 19 dressing rooms at the Opry with various themes, including dressing room #1, the Roy Acuff room. Roy, known for years as the “king of country music,” was a pivotal figure in in the Opry’s history. Story has it that he always left his dressing room door open to encourage camaraderie with other musicians and those who worked at the Opry. To this day, any artist that uses that dressing room keeps the door open out of respect to Acuff’s legacy. Who would have thought that Roy Acuff and Frank Moran would share the same policy? And like the Opry, we at Plante Moran continue that policy today; everyone’s doors are open, including those of the management team.
It’s interesting how sometimes we find connections in the oddest places. What about you? Have you ever been surprised to find your company culture reflected someplace you didn’t expect?