Attention, CEOs and business owners, I have a question for you. Does your company have a cultural statement? A simple, one-page description of your culture and values that’s shown to every candidate, so they can understand the company before they join? A statement that’s emailed to every employee and posted on your intranet and around the offices? If you don’t, you should.
Rather than lecture on its importance and how to do it, I’ll give you a real life example from a client.
KG Charles-Harris is your typical over-achiever—a father with two young children, CEO of Emanio Inc, a startup in the world of EDI, founder of M3, a non-profit whose focus is to create habits of success in young, black boys—who isn’t part of today’s world of greed and ego (there’s more than you would think).
One caveat—this can’t be faked. Your people are smart, they’ll know if you, yourself, live by the values you talk about or not. If not, you can count on two things—high turnover and a reputation for hypocrisy.
EMANIO Culture & Values
EMANIO’s philosophy is one of CARE. The basic principle is that any organization — our own, customers or partners — are comprised of individuals. Care for the individual is central to our success. We value collaboration and an open flow of information, cherish good ideas, and strive for quality. Built from a strong focus on individual productivity, our people are self-starters that take great pride in their work and understand how their personal efforts contribute directly to the success of the company as a whole. For a small company, we are tremendously international with people interacting on a daily basis with persons of different cultural, racial and philosophical backgrounds. Acceptance, tolerance and understanding are qualities that are necessary to excel in this environment.
We believe that:
- We exist in a competitive environment. Only through competing better than others in our market will we create a stable, growing company with a good work environment.
- We exist to profitably create the best products for our customers. The best product is the one that best addresses their perceived needs, enables them to accomplish their goals and for which they are willing to pay.
- We function best as an organization when our goals are clearly defined and all activities and results are measured against these.
- Our employees invest in EMANIO achieving its objectives and we expect our managers to nurture this attitude. Managers are accessible and provide all the information needed for their employees to understand the company, industry and how to perform their work as efficiently and effectively as possible. We foster and work with our employees to help them grow and achieve both personal and career goals.
- EMANIO has no time or tolerance for “the blame game” or for “killing the messenger.” We recognize that mistakes may happen, but that the real damage is that of covering them up, since this prevents learning and corrective measures. When our people make mistakes it means they are trying and it is management’s responsibility to help them analyze what went wrong and ensure that it is corrected. This is true at every level of the company.
- EMANIO has no time or tolerance for politics. We believe that control is the primary source of political power in an organization and that there are only two things worth controlling—information and money. Our money is constructively controlled by budgets. But information is the lifeblood of our organization. Therefore, anyone trying to curb or control the flow of information will be viewed as being obstructively political and in violation of EMANIO’s culture.
Keywords: Care — Openness — Collaboration – Initiative