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Why do you do what you do?

Here at Tellwell, we live and work by our Core Norms. Our team has grown and evolved in countless ways over the years, but these eight norms have stuck since the very beginning:

  • Tell a Great Story
  • We > I
  • Never Demonize our Tribe
  • Succeeding and Failing as a Team
  • Transparency
  • “Yes, And”
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback
  • Get Sh*t Done

These Core Norms are why we do what we do. They determine the clients we take on, influence the way we communicate with our team and our Story Makers, and establish a standard by which we can evaluate ourselves and our work.

And these Core Norms don’t just exist in our employee handbook, tucked away in a desk drawer and forgotten after our first week on the job. We have an entire WALL in the office dedicated to our Core Norms. Whenever we see another team member acting on one of our Core Norms, we celebrate them by writing a note and pinning it to their photo. It is a great way to celebrate our teammates and keep our Core Norms at the front of our minds!

In the name of transparency (hey look, a Core Norm in action!), we have decided to share one norm with you (in no particular order) a month, complete with examples of how we live out these norms on a daily basis. We hope that sharing these norms with you will not only hold us accountable but inspire you to consider why you do what you do. Two birds, one blog.

With that said, our first Core Norm is…

*drumroll please*


Tell a Great Story!

Our videographer, Rich Grossman, summed this one up pretty well: “Everyone in our Story Makers has a unique story, and it’s important to celebrate it.”

Telling great stories is at the core of what we do—we are a storytelling agency, after all. And Rich is right: our clients have incredible stories to tell. They are delivering internet to the most rural corners of North Dakota, providing life-changing services for youth in need, creating beautiful art for our community to enjoy, and so much more.

Each new story is just as important and exciting as the last, and that’s why we take the time to give every story the quality it deserves. Whether it’s a video, a website, or a blog post, we take the utmost care to make sure that every piece we create for our clients is of the highest quality, regardless of budget or scope.

Ensuring this quality of storytelling is a team effort. Before a written piece can be sent to a client, it must be edited by at least one team member. All film projects must go through an internal debut, where we all gather in the conference room (often with popcorn!) and watch the video multiple times, providing constructive feedback so that Noah and Rich, our dynamic duo of video, can make edits before sending it off for approval by the client.

Collaboration like this ensures that all content is in tip-top shape before it reaches our clients. And if they have further edits, we make those too—whatever it takes to tell the best possible story.

But telling a great story goes beyond creating quality content. This norm also influences the way we act in and out of the office. Each one of us is a living, breathing representation of Tellwell—a role and responsibility that we take very seriously. Telling a great story means making sure that we are acting with integrity and speaking intentionally at all times so that we can do Tellwell’s story justice, along with our Story Makers’s.

And that, my friends, is how we Tell a Great Story. Make sure you check in next month to learn about another Tellwell Core Norm!