“You have to maintain a culture of transformation and also stay true to your values.”

Back in 2007, Dogwood was a small contractor operating from our founders home in BC. Today, we’re a national service provider operating Canada-wide, coast to coast.

Along the way we’ve learned a lot about the art of service, listening, and remaining true to the values that got us here. So we wanted to share what’s worked for us when it comes to scaling up without losing yourself in the process.


Alignment is easy when your company is small because everyone knows everyone else. At scale though, things tend to pull apart.

When a company grows, the quality of its service tends to decline.

We’ve all experienced some version of this.

Dehumanized call centres where no one can answer your questions. Being put on hold forever. Layers of management that disconnect leadership from the front line of the business while reducing their understanding of the customer to data points on a spreadsheet. Impersonal HR departments. The kind of siloed “big biz” where nobody seems to be responsible for fixing problems or caring for the end-user.

No one sets out to be like this.

Most of it happens as an unwanted side effect of getting bigger. More moving parts equals more complexity.

Growing bigger can also mean a critical loss of the localized mindset that’s based on a genuine connection to the nuances, culture, needs and business of the customer you serve


As a national team, we endeavour to not lose the “small business mindset” when it comes to caring for the people we serve.

The top three things that have kept us on track are:

  1. GROW TOGETHER –Stay close to your customers, ideally both past and present ones. Talk to them frequently and with sincerity (no spam messages and constant sales pitches. Be genuine, give value).
  2. REVISIT YOUR CORE VALUES –Quarterly, yearly alignment on the bedrock values that drive your brand are key. Do a pulse check with your team. Get honest. Are you authentically embodying your values through daily actions?
  3. HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE –Remember why you started. You’ve grown for a reason… what is it? What is the #1 thing that your customers find valuable and unique about you? Find ways to “scale down” when it comes to service and connect people back to the essence of what you do.

Remember, business is ultimately about human beings connecting with each other. Systems can support decision making, but ultimately a human being should be making the call. Our company’s brand statement (‘Building Success Though Service’) drives everything we do — from who we hire and what we invest in to how we do the work. It’s our North Star, and after all these years it still holds true.

Don’t lose what makes you great, unique and valuable while you scale up and grow. Retain the human connection at all costs.