Without understanding why you do something, it is hard for others to believe how you will get it done. In other words, without an answer to “why” you are seen as a rudderless ship. It is hard to believe you will get where you need to. The “why” is a key element to understanding any company culture, or the values the company has as a collective. Even though we have been in business over ten years, I was recently inspired by this passage intended for young companies on Entrepreneur.com:
Lighting the flame of a company culture is a necessary step in any entrepreneurial venture. But keeping that flame lit as the company grows from, say, a handful of charter employees to dozens, hundreds or more, is an essential daily exercise that extends from the executive suite to the mailroom and, when necessary, to offices across the country or around the globe.
We have always had three simple core internal values in our global small business. They are simple and I think they represent our cultural values well.
- Do the right thing by the customer. This phrase is meant to change someone’s focus to thinking about what the clients wants and needs are. Although being “I” centered is natural, being centered on the client is something that requires constant deliberate effort, and is required for us to service them effectively. Our clients say that they appreciate that we have their best interests in mind, and we really understand their business, which is why they enjoy working with us.
- Do what you say you will do. This is a value central to integrity. It also has a more practical application, as the follow through on something never needs to be supervised. Once someone takes responsibility and commitment for an outcome, reliability is required.
- Communicate early and often. This is supportive of our second core internal value. Once someone takes responsibility and commitment for an outcome, if something unforeseen happens everyone needs to know as early as possible. Constant communication internally – and to the client – is needed so people do not need to waste valuable time getting properly informed before making a decision.
What are the core values of your business?