Refreshing our Core Values

We are proud of the work we put into our culture from the very early days of this company. Our pillars and values have driven critical decisions, fostered happy employees and helped us make recruit amazing people.

We created our values as 20 people in incubator space and they are integral to our company’s success.

As we grew the understanding of values morphed slightly. It’s easy for twenty people to align on “what we meant” but that’s harder as we add a hundred new people, raise capital, change strategy, move office space several times, and expand customer and product bases.

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We began to see that some values were misunderstood, some were no longer as relevant and some were still perfect. As you can see above, there were 13 of them! We decided to make some adjustments.  

How do you change values that are, well… CORE?

Not lightly!

Our goal was not to completely change the values – we are the same company afterall. But we needed to clarify, enhance and ensure that they encompassed the values that will be core to us moving forward – NOT looking backward. Our organization has matured and we’ve learned what really matters to our culture and business.

We ran a four step process to facilitate the revision.

  1. Discussed it as a management team and agreed that it was time to make some adjustments led by our employees.
  2. Socialized the idea with the company and gathered survey data on what they loved, what they hated, and what was missing.
  3. Created a cross-functional committee with a member of every team and a diverse mix of tenure, seniority, and background to craft the new values.
  4. Socialized the new values with the company and adjusted them.

As the core values committee worked on the new values we challenged them to ask the following questions:

Will this value drive the behaviors we need to succeed as a business over the next two years?

Is this a value we will hire for?

Is this a value we would fire for?

Will this value be part of our daily vocabulary and enhance our decisions?

Can you feel it in our physical and virtual environments?

The whole process took about three months. We previously had four cultural pillars and nine values. We’ve agreed to seven total values as our guiding light for the next two years, four of them are part of our initial values and three are a combination or clarification of the previous values. Here are the results:

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So now is the real work. Values can’t be something we discuss in a committee and hang on the wall. They must be integrated into our daily lives so we have a multi level rollout plan that includes learning them and living them. 

Internally we are socializing them and talking about their meanings and how we can ensure they are integrated into our daily lives. We intend to revisit the values every two years, ask tough questions, and be honest about the company we were and the company we are and will be.

Here are some of the things we are doing to ensure they are integrated.

  • Monthly award at our all hands meeting for a chosen value
  • Laptop stickers awarded to Tablers when they display the values
  • Core Values trade show at our annual education conference
  • Incorporating them into our performance reviews
  • Theme months dedicate to each value
  • Physical displays in the office

We are always looking for more creative ways to integrate them – if you have ideas please share them with us below…

 

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