We all understand the impact basic goals, values and a unified mission can have on company culture.
But, when redesigning our company website, this concept was put into perspective like never before.
The experience allowed us to really hone in on what we stood for as a company, and we got all players involved.
In theory, we all understand how important it is to operate from an understanding of our most basic goals, values, and mission. Most companies have these. Most companies create them in their early days, as a guide for development and strategy. Most companies give little thought to how their values and goals change over time, and though they understand that revisiting them is an excellent idea, it’s not generally a high priority, and it rarely gets done.
I have to admit that this was basically where we found ourselves until we addressed our core values as part of an overhaul of our entire website. Having recently completed a thorough values evaluation, my team and I gained some insights that we’d like to pass along.
It turns out that the website is just a result.
#1. Focused Evaluation
Preparing to relaunch our website meant that every piece of content had to be closely examined, evaluated, and updated. This included our core values, mission, and priorities.
In keeping with those ideas, we started the evaluation process by assembling a team and soliciting input from everyone involved. One of our key values is teamwork, and the communication and collaboration that make it possible. This was reinforced and reflected in our values evaluation process.
This process forced us to focus on what our core values are and how we wanted to verbalize them, in a way that is meaningful to team members as well as partners and clients.
#2. Development and Refinement
Taking a hard look at our values and mission allowed us to make refinements that created more lean and precise statements. We were able to distill the essential ideas and relate them in a more concise but powerful vision.
This work let us eliminate vague statements and priorities that no longer apply, while increasing our emphasis on more pertinent ideas, like importance of incorporating technology into the mix. Our determination to employ only the best-in-class technology is key to our overall plan, and to our desire to stay competitive and innovative.
As the great business writer W. Edwards Deming once said: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” In the course of this reassessment, our essential values did not change, but were rather refocused, to fit the contemporary realities.
#3. Input is Wealth
An idea that struck me as this work progressed came back to teamwork and inclusion. Our team collaborated on this project in a variety of forums- face to face meetings as well as virtual discussions- and this was a powerful approach. Everyone was able to participate in the format that suited them, and could contribute ideas in a flexible timeframe. Ideas that popped into our heads at bedtime could be added to the conversation; nothing was lost and everyone contributed.
Our vision grows with our team and it reflects everyone’s views. In essence, we started with the values of our people and brought those into our company. This is not a traditional process - but this is what worked for us.
… we just finally wrote it down.
We helped each other to develop ideas, shared our experiences, and questioned inconsistencies, all in a climate that encouraged honesty and support. The experience helped cement our appreciation for this sort of trust and collaboration, which is the foundation for creativity.