This week I was reading about Campaign Monitor CEO, Alex Bard. I have long been a fan of Campaign Monitor (which powers this newsletter) because the company was started in the Sutherland Shire by 2 Cronulla boys in 2004. This was a time when all email software was US based so a couple of young Aussies taking on the world was quite a novelty. When I learned about Campaign Monitor I switched immediately.
Anyway, back to Alex Bard. Alex has a really interesting take on values. He says “You need clear core values that are in your tone and that are unique to you ….”
I’m particularly interested in what he says about values being “in your tone”. You will see what he means when you read Campaign Monitor’s five core values:
* make mum proud
* if our customers kick ass; we will too
* care about why
* be the change you want
* do less but do it best.
These are very cool value statements – unique and in their own special tone.
Years ago I was working with a group of Baggage Handlers in Cairns airport. They were members of a Union that did not permit them to receive formal feedback. It was “totally against what we stand for” the union officials at Head Office told the local Union reps.
The thing was – the local guys actually wanted feedback. So here is what they did. They created the criteria and feedback “in their tone” with a series of multiple choice type questions something like this:
“When a plane lands on the tarmac, where is ……?” (insert name of Baggage Handler.) Is he/she:
- Already has goggles and ear muffs and is on the tug ready to drive out?
- Looking for goggles and ear muffs and glancing at the arrivals screen to see how long till it docks in the bay.
- On the tug without goggles or ear muffs.
- Making a cup of tea because he/she knows they’ve got another few minutes.
- Missing in action – out the back having a smoke.
Honestly, this is what they put together and it worked. They were short simple questions, drafted “in their tone” and each and every one of the baggage handling team quickly learned what the values were.
It can be really simple.
I’ve been working on mine this past few months and while they may still be a work in progress (as am I) for what it’s worth here are my five guiding principles:
- Keep it simple. When someone understands something it’s more likely to be achieved.
- “Fire.” Means act now. Timely beats perfect every time.
- Look for the good. There’s more benefit to recognising where things are working and building on those, than focusing on fixing what didn’t work, doesn’t work or isn’t working.
- Tell the truth. Sometimes people get so close to their ideas they cannot see the wood for the trees. It’s better for people to be really prepared to start a business than to make financially and emotionally costly mistakes.
- Collaborate. Work with others. Ask for help from those who know and those who have been there already. I never need to be the smartest person in the room.
So mine are a bit longer than the Campaign Monitor values. They have 250 people who need to live and breathe them. There’s only a few of us at Healthy Numbers right now. Who knows, in time we may also be 250!
Do you have clear core values? How do you articulate them? What is YOUR unique tone?
I’d love to from you. Just please click reply and let me know. We are all a work in progress…..
And for more of my Startup Insights, head over to my Healthy Numbers blog.
There has never been a better time to start a business; to be in business.
I’m Ingrid Thompson and thank you for reading this post.
My guess is that you are here because you are curious about what it might be like to start a business?
Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes? If your idea will work or even how much it actually costs to build a successful business?
I’ve written a book that can answer pretty much all your questions “So You Want to Start a Business” and you can download the first 20 pages at www.thestartupsteps.com
15 years of experience working with start up businesses are condensed into this book.
It’s your step by step guide to launch your business smarter and faster and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you and can’t wait to hear about your progress.
Are you ready to grab your excerpt? Click here www.thestartupsteps.com