Kimberly Kane started Milwaukee-based strategic communications firm Kane Communications Group in 2013 and the company has experienced significant growth – doubling revenue every year.
But in mid-2018, she realized continuing to grow at that rate wasn’t sustainable without additional people. In the last 18 months, the company has added 10 people to its staff.
Kane started the company with a focus on doing business differently, both in terms of work environment that allows employees to grow and in how the business delivers for its clients with a focus on results.
Growing the company’s staff, however, comes with the challenge of sustaining the culture Kane sought to instill in the business.
In this episode of the BizTimes MKE podcast, Kane discusses how she has worked to maintain the company culture as the business grows, how Kane Communications has emphasized diversity in its hiring and how her childhood and background has shaped her approach.
Kane said one of the gaps she saw as the company brought on younger employees was a focus on taking orders and fulfilling specific responsibilities.
“We want to challenge them to think strategically, to think out of the box,” Kane said of her younger employees. “We want even to challenge them to not be order takers, but to push back in areas where they think a recommendation doesn’t align with a business goal.”
Kane acknowledged there are times where her own ideas may not necessarily match what a team is working on for a client.
“Just because I am the CEO of the company, I don’t want the people who are on the team to say ‘Yes, Kimberly, that’s exactly what we’ll do because that’s what you have told us you want to do,’” she said.
At the same time, said it is important to develop processes for how people and teams work together.
“With young people that’s especially important,” Kane said. “Helping them really understand what their role is, how they’re going to be supported (and) how we collaborate with each other.”
A partnership with The Brimful Life.