Christopher Brereton

Obsessed with what new media and technology can do to drive change, Christopher founded PictureHealing, a customizable mobile app solution for the non-profit community. As a youngster, Christopher spent summers at camps with the YMCA and other organizations, and was awarded “Youth of the Year” by the Boys and Girls Club, where he took his first paid position as a Jr. Leader. After coming home from living the dream as the lead singer in a touring rock band, Chris spent more than five years honing his experience in Marketing and Business Development, where he fell in love with community and collaboration. Christopher’s progressive approach to company structure and team communication have helped him lead new media efforts for a wide range of enterprises, from non-profits like Casa Pacifica to wealth management companies like Mass Mutual.

Why does the world need a work revolution? (In other words: the way we’re working isn’t working. Why not?)
I believe the current landscape no longer serves the way most companies operate. We’re no longer a systematic, supply chain driven economy (here anyway) where we need people to stand in line and accomplish one brainless task over and over again.

I say it all the time, but we can’t live with the idea that school should teach people to be smart enough to push the button but dumb enough not to ask why anymore! We need people who can think creatively, wear multiple hats, infuse their knowledge in to the shared spaces they’re working.

We need more community, more collaboration. Mind share is where it’s at in my book!

How are you or your organization reinventing work in some way (big or small)?
We focus a lot on collaborative environments be it real life or virtual, we focus on empowering other companies with our resources and know how, we focus on win-win solutions or we don’t do them… and we focus on developing our community both internally, locally and across the globe.

I also love having our crew involved in cross-disciplinary decision-making. Our developers will sit in on financial calls, marketing heads will sit in on development calls and so on. Everyone is involved in some way in the entire process… not just their focus.

What is one specific thing your company does that makes your culture unique and/or different?
Hmmm… one thing. Well, I guess the way we bring talent on is unique and awesome. First things first, we expect people to prove themselves a bit and do some work to show us what they’ve got. If it’s a developer, we’ll usually have them work on a few projects pro-bono to show us their skills, style of work-flow etc

If after that vetting process, they are someone we really dig, we’ll have a team dinner where everyone gets to interact with them and see how they fit in to the bunch. If all goes well, we bring them on… it’s sort of a group decision at the end of the day.

We don’t want people who want a job… we want people who want to use their skill set to change the world!

What should other organizations do if they want to create a more human and meaningful place to work?

Why do you do what you do?
I’m one of those crazy restless minds that needs to fill a bigger purpose than earning a paycheck. I believe we have the ability to shape the future, not just fall in line… and say “yes sir”

What kind of art do you like and why? Any recommendations we should know about?
I really dig contemporary art. I paint and draw and write lyrics and music when I can… and I have a HUGE appreciation for people who make a life out of their art. I don’t know much about the artists or the gallery scene… I just know when something moves me… and that’s what art should do in my opinion.

What is one discipline/industry totally different from your own that has inspired you? How does it impact your work?
Music. I grew up learning to play the bass, drums and my vocal chords… and I spent a good portion of my youth in a rock and roll band. Unlike fine art, music is a collaborative process. One where you take multiple people with different talents and blend their efforts until you create a pieces of music that is ultimately satisfying and something someone can interact with, enjoy and maybe learn from.

That’s how I picture business as well. That’s how we view our process at PictureHealing.

What’s your preferred work environment look like?
Funky! Fun! Bright and Open! We currently work our of a rented detached garage that we turned in to an office/shared workspace in Venice Beach. Our doors are always open, come hang and work with us!

Tell us something surprising about you:
Surprising… ummm, I’m really an open book, but most people are pretty stunned when I tell them I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade.

What do you do for fun?
I love to paint, write, draw, lay on the beach, golf, belly up at a bar with a nice brew and watch football with my lady ☺

How do you stay productive throughout your day?
I try and keep my days themed and I have incorporated a morning run and lightweights at the gym to set my energy level. From there, it’s all about prioritizing and my to-do lists. (I even have a waterproof notebook in the shower!)

What time of the day do you do your best work?
I think the question should really be; “What time of day do you not work?”

What is “required reading” or “required viewing” for people who want to understand what makes you tick?
I’m a bookworm, and my favorite book is ‘The Holographic Universe’ by Michael Talbot. I’ve also just finished Richard Branson’s ‘Screw Business as Usual’, which was awesome. Lastly, I would say to pick up Tony Hsieh’s book ‘Delivering Happiness’ if you want to get some inspiration.

How can people connect with you?
I’m all over the web but here are a few:

Where in the world are you?
Carmen San Diego… I’m in Santa Monica, CA… and I love this place!

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