5 Questions with Russel Dubree of Lifeblue
by Kathy Marcum, Membership Development Manager
Lifeblue is a full service digital media company that moved their corporate HQ to Plano in early 2019. As one of only four Certified B Corporations in the Dallas area, Lifeblue has made a commitment to themselves, their customers and the public to balance profits with purpose. Russel Dubree, Chief Operating Officer of Lifeblue, took some time recently to speak with me about life at Lifeblue.
How is Lifeblue navigating the quarantine? Are you working from home?
We’ve been fortunate enough to navigate quarantine quite well given the nature of our work being already in a digital environment. We started working from home in early March and focused a lot of effort to maintain a lot of our culture and work processes and also adapt to the rapid change occurring with our clients. The only thing we couldn’t duplicate for folks was the cold brew coffee machine. It is sorely missed.
What has been the best and worst thing about working from home?
I think the best thing for us has been the fact that communication has actually increased in a lot of different ways. People are updating each other more on their goals, commitments, and what they are working on. The downside is that we are a highly collaborative and close knit culture that we believe enhances the quality of our work and while we have found different means to do this in a remote environment, it has proven more difficult than if we were in an office environment.
Culture is such a big part of your company’s story. How have you engaged your staff while working separately?
Our team has done a great job adapting quickly to this. We’ve started Trivia Tuesdays during lunch, having virtual happy hours on Fridays, keeping track of and being consistent with our 1-1 meetings, and just reaching out to see how folks are doing. In addition we created a “task force team” called Team Compass of a few team members who are proactive in evaluating our needs and opportunities to better enhance our culture within the COVID crisis and beyond.
What did you want to be when you grew up and is that what you became?
Not to date myself, but I definitely did not intend to be a founder of a digital agency growing up as that wouldn’t have been a conceivable option. I think I started somewhere along the lines of paramedic following in the footsteps of my father, to a chef, and finally an Air Force pilot as I finished high school and on into college.
What is the first thing you plan to do once restrictions are fully lifted?
Tex-Mex takeout has been the biggest disappointment during quarantine, I look forward to sitting on a patio with a margarita and eating my heart out in chips and salsa. My wife wants to go to New York to see a Broadway show. I suppose we’ll have to do both.
Learn more about Lifeblue at their website.