Great, Not Good

My Name is Kent Fritzel, and I am the Chief Creative Officer here at American Christmas. I lead a team of incredibly talented people who collectively drive the visual and creative aspects of our organization.

Part of our company lore is a true obsession with striving to be GREAT. There are a lot of good employees and good companies out there. However, in my opinion, there are very few great employees and great companies.

Trying to quantify exactly what it means to be “great” is an arguably complex discussion.

Many years ago, Fred (the CEO of American Christmas) introduced me to one of his favorite books, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. This is a remarkable book which studies and examines extremely successful companies that made great results and sustained them for at least 15 years.

According to this book, some of the common threads among consistently successful organizations were:

• Having the right people in the right roles
• Having people who are self-motivated
• Doing work that compels everyone to create greatness
• Preserving the core values and purpose of the organization even while adapting to a changing business environment

I can say with great pride that all of these attributes are firmly at the core of American Christmas and have been at the forefront of our strategy since I started 20 years ago.

It’s one thing to have a few years of extreme success. It’s entirely another thing to maintain that success. American Christmas has enjoyed an average of 15% growth per year for the past 27 years. Our executive team collectively boasts 96 years of working for American Christmas.

The organization is successful because we never lose sight of our passion for what we do. Our company culture and core values are the beacon behind our decisions to do the right thing.

While this makes our company successful, it also makes it a truly unique environment.

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins. A great read! (Copyright 2001, published by Harper Collins Business)

I like to think that this “X Factor” in our organization is an obvious attraction for our clients, many of whom have been working with us for many, many years. Being great means that we are producing so much more than a product – we are producing a service that gives our clients the utmost of confidence in our professionalism and conduct. This ultimately translates into trusted partnerships with our clients and vendors.

I know that American Christmas will never rest on our laurels. Our entire team is disciplined, motivated and driven. These are the qualities that have made us successful in the past, and with relentless focus in the future, will continue to help us endure.

Reminders of favorite quotes posted in the Creative Department.