The 10 on the Team

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The 10 on the Team: Megan Greenwood

By Barret Michalec  – July 18, 2022

Sometimes, the ingredients for great teamwork are right in front of you! Megan Greenwood, Founder and Owner of Greenwood Brewing Company, talks about the brand pillars she’s created – Empowerment, Confidence, and Inclusivity – and how these are essential ingredients for leadership and team-ness.

Megan didn’t start out as a brewer, she worked in manufacturing engineering for over a decade, until she received a home-brew kit for her birthday in 2014. She started brewing regularly and built a microbrewery in her garage where she had 8 beers on tap! Megan then rented a space from a local brewery and launched her flagship beers, while she began construction of Greenwood Brewery. The Greenwood brand is now in over 200+ restaurants, grocery and retail stores throughout Arizona, and Megan is on the boards for both the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and Arizona Talks.  

The 10 on the Team: Megan Greenwood


10 on the Team 1

What are 5 qualities of highly effective teams?

Respectful, Transparent, Invested, Supportive, Empathic

10 on the Team 2

Of those 5 qualities – is there 1 that is an absolute essential? Why?

Transparency is essential because without it, moving forward is extremely difficult.

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What facilitates good team communication?

Regular check-ins with the whole team and individually. This must come from the top-down through the organization to be sure that it’s the culture to check-in regularly. Create a forum where everyone can be prepared to give their information however is easiest for them.

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What is kryptonite to a good team?

A negative attitude is kryptonite to a good team. It causes disruption, loss of inspiration, low team morale.

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What are ways in which teams can “grow”/develop their team-ness?

Getting the team to know each other a little more than just at work while continuing a professionalism with regular check-ins. For example: Sharing a dinner together, meeting their spouses, significant others, family members, or anyone important to them, or going to a ball game or somewhere to connect outside of work.

Also, giving the team a challenging task. This will allow the team to work hard and strategically in order to get the job done. It will test their communication and connectivity, but in the end the hardship will bring the team closer together.

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There are so many activities of Greenwood Brewery and maintaining a brewery/small business that are a team-effort, but how is brewing beer in particular a collaborative and collective effort – as it seems fairly one-person-oriented? And what aspects of “team-ness” that are nested within the brewing process are also reflective in other Greenwood Brewery practices?

Brewing beer is one aspect of our business, but in order to brew beer, we need to be able to sell the beer, so we have taproom managers who coordinate the sales on-premise. Then we have a sales team who manages all sales off-premise. We have marketing, and financial teams, and our leadership team who guides the ship. We have budgets, and projects, and schedules where the entire team must work together in order to make and sell our product - beer - safely, on time, delivered, while making money, without waste or the product perishing.

Our team-ness is making sure that all of our leaders are regularly meeting and connecting and that our leaders are regularly meeting and connecting with their teams. Our teams understand that as a small business, our schedule is ever-changing, but they know that we all must be transparent and respectful of everyone’s tasks and hurdles at-hand in order to reach a common goal.

Our leadership team meets regularly - every week or every other week - in order to be sure we’re all on the same track. We allow for everyone to send their agendas before the meeting in an email so the meeting leader knows if there is anything we need to bring up that may be difficult for some to hear, and also vice versa, to be sure that we are appreciating the team for jobs well-done. Each team meets with their respective groups regularly - at least once per quarter - and the entire business has retreats and/or dinners two times per year.

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The pillars of Greenwood are Empowerment, Confidence, and Inclusivity. These are key factors of effective team-ness in any field – what suggestions do you have for other team leaders regarding how to promote the practice of these values within their own teams?

The pillars of Greenwood the Business and Brand are: Empowerment, Confidence and Inclusivity, which is what our team radiates when they are working with our customers and how we make brand decisions for our business.

Our internal business values are: Support, Honesty, Invested, Kind, and Engaging. These values were created in order to know how we conduct our business together with each other internally, as well as how we hire, who we hire, and who do we do business with.

There are a couple values that we have that are unique to us: Kind and Invested. We realized that we could have all of the values but our kindness or empathy is what really makes our team strong. We give feedback, but we are kind people. Invested is another unique value and it is because we are a small business where everyone wears every hat. We want our team to care, and for them to be invested in the growth and longevity of the business so that we know collectively that we’re moving in the right direction.

10 on the Team 8

Greenwood’s slogan, “The Power of the Purposeful Pint,” promotes the value in dialogue and conversation over beer. From your perspective, in what ways does beer bring people together and how does it serve as a conduit for connectivity?

I started Greenwood Brewing because I love making tasty beer but what I love even more is creating a product that provides an avenue for new and powerful conversation. I believe that people need to encourage each other and share with each other in order to create change in their lives, and beer can be a vehicle for that change. Why? Because beer has a culture of promoting honest and encouraging social experiences, and positive social experiences promote connection and conversation. The right conversation serves as a conduit for anything, including connectivity, and that is the ultimate goal.

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Breaking into the beer industry – an industry that is heavily dominated by men – and focusing on inclusivity and empowerment – Greenwood is reflective of (necessary) social change. Your efforts to enhance solidarity, community, and connectivity are remarkable. What are things you do with your team to keep everyone’s eyes on the “bigger picture” of what Greenwood is all about?

We have our brand pillars, which are Empowerment, Confidence and Inclusivity, which are our guiding lights for decision-making. If the product we release isn’t inclusive, then we don’t move forward with it. If the way we operate doesn’t instill confidence in our employees or customers, then we rid of it. If our messaging doesn’t feel empowering to the reader, we change it. We’re always striving to do better in this area, but these brand pillars help guide us and keep us connected to the bigger picture.

10 on the Team 10

The Herstory feature on your website (as well as the Herstory Brew) is dedicated to spotlighting how women are empowered, inspired, and inspiring. We noticed that in your Herstory interview, you noted Pliny the Elder as one of your fav beers – but what is in your fridge right now that you are looking forwarding to (aside from all the fantastic beers Greenwood Brews of course – Emera Light is my “go-to” btw)? 

Well, I’ve recently met with the owner of Holidaily, a woman-owned gluten-free brewing company based in Denver, Colorado, and she has a stout that I’ve been anxious to try! It’s in my fridge, and won’t be for long!

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