Chapter 6Internal CollaborationMarrying Off-Centeredness to a World-Class Organization

I have been hosting beer serving and speaking events for over 20 years now. I love doing these events and spending time with the people who love our beers. At this point in my career, I know how to work a room but I am not so great at working an org chart. When our whole company could literally fit in one big room, back when everything we made—beer and food and distilled spirits—was done under one roof in Rehoboth, my creative fervor was enough to allow me to be a good leader and get the right messages to the right people efficiently: customers and coworkers alike. But as we've grown this company—with multiple locations; multiple product lines, including beer, food, and clothing; an inn; coast-to-coast distribution; and some 230-plus coworkers and counting—when it comes to addressing my need to amplify my communication skills proportionate to the growth of our company, I've come to learn what my strengths and weaknesses are.

An important contributing factor to our success as a company is that we have consistently been able to “fail forward.” Over the past two decades there have been some errors that led to wasted time, energy, and money. Rather than break us, though, these mistakes have made us stronger and more resilient. Why? Because almost all of them have been due to Dogfish Head's willingness to take risks. Rather than become immobilized by the possibility of failure, we've always been ...

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