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A Cultural Style Guide with Anna Schaum of Straub Collaborative

Chief evangelist at Creative Force

Full episode transcript

Daniel Jester:

From Creative Force, I'm Daniel Jester. And this is the eCommerce content creation podcast.

Daniel Jester:

DEI has been a topic on this podcast before. We've recorded three episodes on the topic with Jessica Lopez in episode 52, Karen Williams in episode 47, and way back in episode eight with Claire Carter Ginn. While we were recording the live episode at the Henry Stewart photo studio ops event in New York city, we heard again during the Q and A session that this topic is still top of mind for many studio professionals. After our recording session in New York, Mark Katson of Straub Collaborative approached me and told me about an effort that Straub was undertaking, a cultural style guide that defines DEI for Straub. Mark, put me in contact with Anna Schaum and we sat down to discuss this document and what Straub is doing to support DEI efforts across the organization and how it impacts employees day to day.

Anna Schaum:

We had begun a process of revamping the Straub values, vision, and mission statements. And I took those after the senior leadership sort of named and claimed these. I took them out and did qualitative questions to a smattering of people throughout the organization, photographers, PMs, people working in post, across all the hierarchical strata, and gave each person the values, vision, and mission statements and said, so how are these playing out in your daily life at work? You know, and where are they playing out in a way that you feel is in integrity and where are they not? And people reported back.

Daniel Jester:

Now is a great time to mention a couple of things that Anna asked me to cover after we recorded our episode. Number one, a significant part of creating a fair and equitable workplace at Straub is the twice monthly implicit bias training sessions that senior leadership participates in with an organization called Therapists Beyond Borders. You can find them at therapistbeyond.com. And secondly, Anna is available to consult with any organization that would like to review their current DEI efforts or implement new ones. Take a listen to the episode and, if she says some things that you think are interesting, you can definitely reach out to Anna and see if you can use some of her insight and expertise in developing your own DEI efforts. Now, with that, let's take a listen to episode 67 of the show with Anna Schaum of Straub Collaborative. This is the eCommerce content creation podcast. I am your host Daniel Jester and joining me for this episode, director of eco social development at Straub Collaborative, Anna Schaum. Hi, Anna, welcome to the podcast.

Anna Schaum:

Hi Daniel. Thanks for having me.

Daniel Jester:

It is my pleasure to have you on the show to talk about what we're going to talk about today. I'm being coy with our listeners a little bit. Director of eco social development is quite a title and not one that we've had on this podcast before. What are we going to talk about? But when I was at the Henry Stewart conference in New York, back at the beginning of May, one of your colleagues Mark from Straub Collaborative approached me after we recorded our live episode and said, Hey, you guys talked a little bit about DEI on this episode that you recorded live. And I wanted to let you know at Straub Collaborative, we have this really interesting effort that we're undertaking and driving that effort for our organization is Anna Schaum, director of eco social development, and the way that he described it to me, Anna and I'll let you define it a little bit more clearly, and we're going to talk, this is what we're going to talk about, because I think it's super duper interesting.

Daniel Jester:

I think it's really thoughtful and I'm excited to have this conversation with you, but the way that he described it to me at the time was sort of a social, not a social style guide. How did he put it, something like that, like to put it in terms that people in the creative industry would really understand. It's a style guide for the social part of working for Straub Collaborative and not only intermingling of employees at Straub, but the company's outward facing social mission and values that they care about. So I'm going to shut up because I'm butchering this. I can feel it. And please tell me what this document is and how this came about.

Anna Schaum:

Beautiful. And it's okay. We're in new territory in so many ways in this work around our...There's a term socionomy, sort of the economy of our social relationships and how to have maybe a more circular social economy, so to speak, that we are not simply capitalizing and dehumanizing on each other to make our organizations thrive. So the document you're talking about that Mark mentioned is our culture style guide and the culture style guide will be released I think around the same time that this podcast gets released, the end of June. It will get released studio wide for our staff. And it has been a work in progress since 2020 when I came on board at Straub as an employee. The story goes way back before that. I would say I've been warming up to this work and this role probably my whole life. So, I can go back to as far as you want to talk about how this started and where we are now.

Daniel Jester:

When we chatted briefly about this before we actually recorded the episode, you framed it around the 2016 election and really seeing a need. And I think that's a good place to start our story. And if it absolutely like touch on your background and your education that informs this, but I think it was really, I don't know, it was kind of touching to me to hear that this was something that perked your ears up and the rest of the senior leadership at Straub that like things are going to probably get bad in some ways socially or challenging, I guess is a better way to put it, not bad always, but challenging.

Daniel Jester:

And you know, this was before the events of 2020, which heavily also informed this process on your end, as I understand, and heavily informed a lot of our lives. The summer of 2020 was life changing for a lot of people. And so yeah, take us back to that moment in 20, well, I guess it, maybe wasn't a moment in 2016, but people who were really aware of to use the term that I learned today, which I think is brilliant to people who are aware of the socionomy saw some things coming in 2016 that I think really made this an important project for you.

Anna Schaum:

Yeah. Well, thanks for that cue and that timeline, that's helpful. So, you know, regardless of our political leanings in 2016, when the president was elected, it was such a radical departure from anything that had happened politically really in our country in a really long time where this, and so, as that event emerged, what also kind of was unearthed was, well, wow, if we're going to go here, if we're going to have this kind of conversation at the national level, that's going to unearth some stuff that's going to provide for me. It was going to provide both some permissiveness to be more vocal, but it was also going to say, well, we're going to unearth some stuff that's not so pretty. So I wasn't at Straub as a formal employee yet, but I will mention that I have a dual relationship because I've been partnered with and married to the founder and CEO of the company, David Straub for 25 years this year. Well, we met 25 years ago in 1997.

Daniel Jester:

Oh congratulations. 25 years. Yeah.

Anna Schaum:

Well, thank you. Yeah. So, I've watched the company grow and so my life is inextricably connected with Straub the company, as it's grown from a one person studio with one bookkeeper, who was David's mom at the time, and one assistant who still is with us. Anyway, back to 2016. So this was just an evolution of my awareness of the impact of the social system that we live in and the culture that we live in as it emerged in 2016 and how it was impacting potentially our worlds.

Daniel Jester:

Right.

Anna Schaum:

At the time, I wasn't working at Straub, but I was paying attention. David would talk about things at work and things that were happening and immediately tensions went up in the workplace. I don't want to reveal people's personal information at all, but there was an incident the first day where there was an incident and I said, this is not disconnected from what's happening out in the world.

Daniel Jester:

Sure.

Anna Schaum:

So I got very curious at that time.

Daniel Jester:

And part of what informs this from your perspective is your background. And forgive me if I'm using the wrong terms to describe this, but you're a therapist, is that correct?

Anna Schaum:

Yes. Well, I started out as a musician. I was really lucky to start playing the viola in the fourth grade. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and had access to music lessons. So I've always been a very sensate person, really feeling and sensing into the organizations that I belong to, but sort of as a musician first after the stars aligned and I won a job in the Oregon symphony in 1991, I'm very growth mindset. And I'm like, okay, well, this is wonderful. I've reached my dream, but I don't know if I want to play Beethoven's fifth another time. So, I really started looking around for other things to exercise my creativity. I recognized I had some healing gifts. I did improv theater. I worked on the Portland women's crisis line. That's what it was called at the time, volunteered in hospice, and all this was sort of looking for what's my next thing.

Anna Schaum:

So yes, I became a therapist and in that therapeutic work, I was using theater as a healing modality. We were doing group work and doing theater for trauma recovery and things like that. So through that work, I started working in some organizations doing conflict resolution, using music as a metaphor and a way of thinking about conflict and tension in a more generative way than the scary way when we think about human relationships. So all that has led up to this role that got created that David and the senior leadership at the time said, yeah, come on board, see what you can do. Because back to 2016, as I started noticing how tensions were showing up potentially more destructively, I wanted to be able to have a positive impact on the company-

Daniel Jester:

Right.

Anna Schaum:

As things unfolded.

Daniel Jester:

This is a rabbit hole for probably a whole different podcast and definitely a different episode. But I'm curious now you got me thinking about maybe the impact of like cutting arts funding in schools and music funding in a lot of schools and the way that has impacted people who otherwise, who would've had an opportunity to develop some of these social listening skills that people develop. I hadn't really thought about it that way, but like playing music together imparts some kind of something in your ability to pick up social cues. It must, right? It must impart something there. We are not a psychology or sociology podcast at all, but now I'm very interested to know like what unintended impacts in our ability to produce really thoughtful people is impacted by cutting arts funding at most schools. You know, it's kind of crazy.

Anna Schaum:

Yeah, well, it is. And there is a thread back. So let's go back to the style guide because we're talking about diversity equity, inclusion, and this is an act of diversity and equity and inclusion at Straub, is the creation of this style guide. And for me, this is an Anna thing and I'm hoping to be able to instill it throughout the company. And we are doing some things to do that, but a huge part of equity and diversity equity and inclusion and belonging in the workplace is being able to listen. And especially in the places where we have agency, where we represent the more dominant aspects of our social strata. It's really important that we know how to listen as equally well, at least as we know how to talk. So that is for sure something I learned through music.

Daniel Jester:

And something that I've observed over my career when I think back to, I think back a lot about my career and the people that I've worked with and, I'm starting to feel like this might be a uniquely American thing or at least other countries that structure their workplaces similarly to the way that we do in America. But you know, a lot of my career is defined by who my boss was in a lot of ways. And my relationship to my boss, I've thought a lot about bosses that I've loved and bosses that I had a harder time with.

Daniel Jester:

I think it really boils down to whether or not they listened to me, whether or not they were truly actually listening. And then, if any necessary action was required as a response to that listening. That's almost secondary to, when I think back those most frustrating moments where this person just wasn't listening to what I was telling them, or and I've said this often on the podcast, Terrence Mahone, who's been a guest in the show a couple of times, was one of my favorite bosses that I've ever worked for. And a lot of that had to do with, he gave me a lot of space to talk to him about what was going on with me. And he actually listened to that.

Anna Schaum:

Yeah. Beautiful. And I don't know if we'll get there in this conversation or not, but one of the aspects of the work that I do centers around the difference between status and rank and status, sometimes when we, as leaders listen, and we don't assume we have what needs to be said next, or we're not the person to say it. And to make that restful space to just take in information can be seen as a low status position in our corporate hierarchies. So for me, it takes great courage and strength as a leader to just notice what's going on when I'm not speaking. How else can I presence myself? How else can I exude this more deep power of just being embodied and not having to have all the answers because I can make space for these brilliances to come through, like, you know, Daniel's did when you were in those roles with your boss, that that feedback and that information from the margins of the organization are it's crucial that we're hearing those.

Daniel Jester:

So 2016, obviously there was seismic changes in the politics in the United States, and that bled out into a lot of like social things and the way that people were expressing themselves and behaving. And I think any of us, without even making a judgment on politics can see that, can very easily trace that. And then 2020, kicking off 2020 with a pandemic, kicking off 2020 with a very optimistic view of what it was going to be. I remember very clearly in January, it seemed like one of the ones where people were feeling good. It felt like the economy was going to be going the right way. You know, around December, January, there was a little bit of talk like, do we need to worry about COVID or is it going to be another SARS thing where it never really makes its way to the United States? And it did. And it changed a lot. And then summer of 2020. So let's kind of talk about these events. Now's the action moment at Straub Collaborative to really get this effort off the ground.

Anna Schaum:

For me, it's interesting that I started in January 2020 as an official Straub employee in my role. And I was actually in Hong Kong in January with David doing some team building and starting to do the intercultural work that I came on board to do when people started putting on masks and they started checking our temperature at the hotel and having not been through a pandemic like that before or through SARS, at first it was a novelty in a way. I mean, what's going on, but you could see in people's faces and body language that a lot of people were already terrified.

Daniel Jester:

Yeah.

Anna Schaum:

So we got back end of January 2020, and the U.S. studios weren't awake to it yet. And we were two months ahead in a way because our bodies had been in Hong Kong. So that's how I started out in the role. And that actually opened up that one particular, being sent home to work for a number of employees, particularly people not shooting the photography, not working with the merch, people who were able to work from home were suddenly displaced from one another.

Anna Schaum:

So that was part of the emergence of the style guide in a way, because it's about how can people stay connected and how can we form those connections now that we're behind screens at our work homes, our home workplaces. So I developed some ways to connect people. We had some open meeting sessions, I called them de-isolation sessions. And that actually came as a comment from somebody that said, I really miss just being in the kitchen with my team, even if we don't go deep. And in those conversations, what was beautiful and was a kind of a wake up call for me was with just a little bit of prompting, people started talking about things that really matter and being at home and having the kids walk behind and the pets jump in the lap and seeing that, oh, somebody's actually broken their leg and had ankle surgery this month.

Anna Schaum:

It opened up discussions for some of those intersectionalities that we don't always talk about at work. People are suddenly talking about the intersection of disability because there's two injuries. And these people that are, have been, their bodies have been hurt maybe for the first time they went, oh, this must be what it's like in a way to have a short term disability. Maybe I'm developing some empathy for that when I've taken for granted that my body, I can get around wherever I want, however I want. There was also conversations around gender. I remember really specifically that just a casual comment. It opened it up and give a platform for everybody to just do a little sharing around something that mattered.

Anna Schaum:

People were confiding about their kids and identifying as transgender or non-binary and how they were starting to use they/them pronouns. And the discomfort of that. And other employees would start talking about yeah me too, or yes, and what's that like, and it just became such rich conversation and it wasn't group therapy, but it was just with a tiny bit of prompting and space holding for those conversations, was really connecting time for folks. And then the tragedy, another desperate tragedy of Mr. George Floyd's murder in the summer.

Daniel Jester:

Right.

Anna Schaum:

With so many people out of work at that time, or on unemployment home with hours to watch the news, for instance.

Daniel Jester:

I used Twitter to sort of monitor the goings on both nationally and what was going on in my own city. But yeah, it was, you described me to a T. I was freshly laid off for my previous job. Didn't have something new lined up and was just sitting at my computer for probably three days, just feeling helpless and angry. Trying really hard not to turn this into a personal therapy session for me. So continue, please.

Anna Schaum:

I'm not going to be your therapist. It would be unethical, but I'll definitely be your friend and we can have meaningful conversations.

Daniel Jester:

Fair enough.

Anna Schaum:

Yeah. I mean, it was a, just a hallmark time in human history. So folks who potentially didn't have the energy or the capacity or the insight or the time or the awareness to come out of indifference around racism in our country and the way it plays out, suddenly did. And, when they saw it and it was three days' worth, you start to feel it and you start to see how it's impacting the world around and inside of your own body.

Anna Schaum:

So that was really, I had already begun working on a D&I statement for Straub because there wasn't a formal one and it was this strange convergence of like right place, right time. The conditions are they're terrible, but they're right to start like owning the responsibility for the company to be more than just makers of damn good content. Like how do we do that? How do we play a role in the industry? Again, that's generative, that's moving the needle. And there's so many ways we can't change things, but we can start to wake up to these rank dynamics in the systems where we work and where we live and how we are with each other and make a commitment to equity in the workplace.

Daniel Jester:

Right. And one of the really interesting things that you shared with me that stood out in our earlier conversation is that this is also something that your clients and customers were asking you for specifically. We all know that through the rest of the summer of 2020, after George Floyd was murdered, there was a lot of corporate response to this. And some of it felt real and sincere, and some of it felt pretty performative, but I think it was really interesting that you mentioned to me, that your customers were asking you do you have a DEI statement? What are your values in this regard? And we want to be sure that we're working with a company whose values align with ours.

Anna Schaum:

Yeah. Again, I call it more of a convergence of timing as customers and clients recognize the need to center social awareness. I was writing the statement and we were putting it on the website. And by the way, I didn't complete the statement that I begun until Elizabeth Simple, our VP of HR came on board.

Daniel Jester:

Right.

Anna Schaum:

Elizabeth came in September 2021 as a remarkable experienced and super interculturally savvy vice president of HR. And none of this would be happening without Elizabeth because she's on the senior leadership team. And she recognizes how important this work is to David and to the employees and to the world at large.

Daniel Jester:

To what extent did current employees of Straub help in shaping this document? Like there was a statement that you mentioned that you were working on and at what point did you start to engage some of the employees? What did that engagement look like and how did you use their perspectives to help shape the larger document?

Anna Schaum:

So before Elizabeth Simple arrived in September 2021, and by the way, our senior leadership has changed dramatically through all this too. So there's just been so much change throughout and sort of riding that wave of change each step of the way.

Anna Schaum:

But earlier in 2020 when I first came on board, we had begun a process of revamping the Straub values, vision, and mission statements. And I took those after the senior leadership sort of named and claimed these, I took them out and did qualitative questions to a smattering of people throughout the organization, photographers, PMs, people working in post across all the hierarchical strata and gave each person the values, vision, and mission statements and said, so how are these playing out in your daily life at work? You know, and where are they playing out in a way that you feels in integrity and where are they not? And people reported back. And it was out of that we formed a group that's now called the culture team. So some of the people I interviewed were interested in continuing. And so we have a monthly meeting of the culture team and that group's role and goal is to really make sure the company is staying true to these aspirational goals of equity and impact in the industry.

Daniel Jester:

You know, that's a really interesting, specific mission for a culture team at a company, because I feel like having been a part of more than one sort of culture team, what they sort of tend to end up being, and I don't mean to deride anybody's culture team, but what they often end up being is sort more about team building, more about let's talk about like what activities do we have going on that makes our employees feel connected. And that's definitely an important part of the mission, but to have that added element of here's our DEI statement, here are our values, and are we continuing to make decisions in line with that, I think is an important way to make that culture team go from something that is looked at as, maybe in some ways superfluous, because it's just about when are we going to have the next pizza party to like, are we living these values that we claim to have?

Daniel Jester:

I think that's a really interesting way to use something like a cross-functional culture team for something like this. And that's a good segue to my next question, which is for me, I think it's probably one of the most important questions in this conversation, Anna, which is what other steps aside from the culture team's mission of reviewing everything will Straub take to ensure that this mission continues to be a part of the company's outward facing appearance and also the work that everyone does internally? How are you going to make sure and how is the team going to make sure that this really is not performative and it's intended to make sure that we are creating a diverse environment with equity and inclusion for everybody?

Anna Schaum:

Well, I think ensuring is a tricky word because we can't ensure people's development. And this is in many ways this is consciousness development work. And we don't go from being as my teacher, Leticia Nito says we don't go from being in the crib to renting an apartment. You learn this stuff in interactions with other people. And if you haven't had opportunities to learn an interaction with other people where it went well and where it was a generative connection that moved us forward instead of backwards or back into more harm, we can't develop. So I can't guarantee and ensure anything. What I can ensure is that we are taking some specific steps. So the style guide itself, and by the way, the style guide came out of me seeing that companies put out playbooks. And I thought since we're a photo studio and we were working with style guides all the time, that that was a better way to frame it.

Daniel Jester:

Yeah. It's perfect. Like when Mark mentioned it to me in New York, I knew immediately. I didn't know, but I had a sense of what it was. It's brilliant, I think.

Anna Schaum:

Oh, well, thank you. Awesome. So that's one thing and the style guide itself, as we started out in this conversation, it's a document, it's a placeholder, it's a space holder to me, it's like a boat, but it's not the journey. So it's going to need upgrades. It's going to need to be, things changed out as they wear out. So we're not relying on the style guide to be that. And it's not something that we can mandate or we're not mandating anything. It's really an invitation to get on the boat and go on the journey. And that's one thing we're doing so that rolls out the end of June for the employees. And then once we've got the boat provision, let's all get on board and see where we go from here. The culture team's already on. Ways of instilling that throughout the company, we are starting to do.

Anna Schaum:

One of the things I teach outside of Straub is nonviolent communication or compassionate communication. It's a skill set developed by Marshall Rosenberg. It's four steps that seem simple on the outside, but they're transformative when you start to really put them into play as ways to talk to one another. So I've done workshops at the executive and senior leadership level. I've worked with our PMs and our photographers on compassionate communication skills. This is like having your scales down as a musician. It's something, if you keep going back to it and reiterating it and reiterating it, eventually we're going to become experts at being able to use that tool. So that's part of our onboarding process now, too. So anybody who comes into the company every month, I do a compassionate communication training as part of onboarding and anybody in the company can come and review those.

Anna Schaum:

We do lots of practice sessions. It's not always just about work stuff. We can use the tool to practice and become better. And then finally, we also have a D and I values vision mission onboarding every month. So I do a team event. We look at the style guide together and again, it's a wonderful conversation starter. So we just had one of those onboardings this week. And the conversation that had opened up was beautiful that, otherwise I don't think would typically happen in the first couple of weeks or months of somebody being at the company.

Daniel Jester:

That's a great segue to my next question. And I think probably the last question before we wrap up Anna, which is, has this effort had an impact already? It sounds like it has, if you're developing conversations and a level of sort of honesty within your team that maybe you hadn't seen before. What other impacts do you feel like this has had at Straub so far?

Anna Schaum:

I know in my relationships throughout the company, it's made a place where I feel I can trust my colleagues to hear me out, to not jump to conclusions and that we're in it together. And that it's uncomfortable sometimes to have the conversations we need to have. So I think that's resonating out that there's a sense of trust and confidence in one another. And I've only been here two years, so this culture was already awesome from what I understand. People come to Straub and love being here, because there's always been a focus on relationships. So this is just taking it into the area of social identity and how do we talk about our various social identities at work in ways that change and evolve culture beyond what an employee handbook can do with our day to day interactions and commitment to equity?

Daniel Jester:

Yeah. You know, a Straub for me as sort of an industry pundit, I don't know something, something in the industry, some minor niche talking head, but, I have close personal friends who are former Straub employees who've always spoken highly of the company. Well, before this effort was undertaken and reputationally, I think Straub has a great reputation in the industry and is one of these companies that you're like, yeah, Straub. I know those guys. I've heard of those guys.

Daniel Jester:

I've met Kevin at a conference once. He was a nice guy. Everybody I've ever met from Straub has been incredibly nice. I give you all the credit for that, Anna.

Daniel Jester:

You know, I think that's probably about all the time we have to talk about this. Thank you so much for your time and your insight and sharing this with us. I think it's really interesting. I think it's really powerful. I was so excited to have Mark have made the introduction and had this conversation. I know that you have mentioned some people at Straub or outside of Straub that have had an impact on this process, along with you. Do you want to just mention anybody here at the end and kind of give them a little shout out here on the podcast for the impact they had on this process?

Anna Schaum:

Oh, absolutely. We need to do that. The style guide itself is in three parts. There's the first part that just outlines and sort of defines diversity, equity, inclusion, and how we use language, broad strokes. The second section is around inclusive language and our design partner is from a partner called EF.IT. It's their initial. So you can look up EF.IT Design.

Anna Schaum:

Our internal groups have worked diligently on putting together that language guide. And the final part of the style guide is the I'm sorry, I don't have the specific title that we landed on, but it's around.

Daniel Jester:

No, that's okay.

Anna Schaum:

It's around model casting and our model talent manager of [inaudible 00:32:06]. Who's worked extensively as a stylist in the industry. [inaudible 00:32:10] worked with prints at one point. [inaudible 00:32:13] was really integral in putting together this casting guide that looks at skin tone, skin type, hair type, really looking at all the different hair types, making sure that our stylists have the education that they need to do all kinds of hair, black hair in particular because models show up on sets. And often in studios, the stylists haven't been adequately trained to make the hair look good. So a [inaudible 00:32:42] has been an exceptional partner in developing that part of the guide.

Daniel Jester:

One last thing I wanted to touch on that you reminded me, we talked about this when we first met that I think is super interesting because a recurring theme on this podcast has constantly been fluency and language and learning how to speak the language of your cross functional partners and stakeholders and using fluency in different sort of business arenas as a way to more effectively communicate. The glossary was really interesting to me when we last talked about it, because this is an area where I think any reasonable person can struggle sometimes with keeping up with the terms that maybe at one point were acceptable and are now considered offensive in some ways.

Daniel Jester:

And there's even a context element to it that just, sometimes it just depends on the context. I think that's really interesting and valuable to put together a glossary around some of these diversity and equity and inclusion initiatives, to make sure that your teams are aware of what is good or wanted. You know, for me, it's always been, I will call you what you want me to call you and I'll do my best to do that. But there's a lot of like just conversational stuff that we need to pay attention to as well.

Anna Schaum:

And just as a closing about that glossary that really came out of in large part David's recognition that in working with other cultures, working with clients and customers who English wasn't their first language, for instance, in this English dominant world we live in, that they were learning the English language. And some of this nomenclature from TV shows, some TV shows back from the seventies, eighties, and nineties.

Anna Schaum:

So even though some of the things in the glossary may seem very rudimentary and kind of backwards so to speak from a U.S. audience, it's really done respectfully so that people there's no shame or blame or praise around the kind of coming to a shared social language. And again, this glossary is not a mandate, it's an invitation. And one of my favorite pages in the style guide, it's in the glossary section called a community of care about calling each other in, instead of calling each other out. When we hear something that might sound off putting or hear something that's not resonant with our identities to put that in a way and to do that in ways that feel respectful and kind as much as possible.

Daniel Jester:

I love it. I love all of it, Anna. And, and thank you so much for your time, sharing your insight with us on this process. And I'm very excited to have been able to talk about this with you. And like you mentioned earlier, we have coordinated to have this episode launch what right now is planned to be the same day as the wider release of the style guide itself. So hopefully all of you, if any of you, Straub employees are listening, know that we see you. We appreciate you. We think this is really cool. And Anna, thank you so much for your time.

Anna Schaum:

Thank you, Daniel. Thanks for all you're doing too. You've got some great topics and it's making a difference.

Daniel Jester:

Ah, you make me blush at the last 30 seconds. Come on.

Daniel Jester:

That's it for this episode of the e-commerce content creation podcast. Many thanks to our guest, Anna Schaum, and the entire team at Straub Collaborative for being a sincere and thoughtful group of professionals in our industry. As always thanks to you for listening. The show is produced by Creative Force edited by Calvin Lanz. Special thanks to Sean O'Meara. I'm your host, Daniel Jester. Until next time, my friends.

About the host

Chief evangelist at Creative Force

Daniel Jester is an experienced creative production professional who has managed production teams, built and launched new studios, and produced large-scale projects. He's currently the Chief Evangelist at Creative Force but has a breadth of experience in a variety of studio environments - working in-house at brands like Amazon, Nordstrom, and Farfetch as well as commercial studios like CONVYR. Creative-minded, while able to effectively plan for and manage a complex project, he bridges the gap between spreadsheets and creative talent.