One of my co-founders, Andy Donnelly and I met Richard Norton, who works in Emerging Talent at TSB on Friday. After presenting Kloodle to him, he asked us a question that is all too rarely asked of business leaders:What are our company’s values? Being a relatively recent start up, Kloodle’s values are an extension of our personalities. As “our” creation, these values have not, to date, been communicated outside the four walls of our office – hence my excitement and apprehension at the question. The answer is straightforward; having created Kloodle, it represents an extension of how we, as founders, think, behave and operate. Kloodle’s values are OUR values. The extent to which we have ploughed our heart and soul into the business caused the excitement and apprehension – Kloodle is an extension of us. Exposing these values and beliefs to the world is like unveiling our own personalities.
The need for a strong value system is essential in all organisations, regardless of their size. Employees require their organisations to operate a transparent vales system and expect their leaders to lead by example and abide by their values. From a resourcing and recruitment perspective, those organisations which are able to articulate a relevant, meaningful and compelling set of values which resonate with its target audience will benefit enormously in their quest to attract and retain the most relevant talent. Organisations have never been under more scrutiny than at present to OPENLY demonstrate their ambitions and aims.
Back to TSB. Here we have a newly launched Retail bank that has, from the outset, stated its absolute commitment to its customers. The entire TSB ethos is around not just “great service”. It goes much deeper than that. TSB commits to providing absolute transparency and honesty at all times, even if that means losing potential new business. If TSB cannot provide the very best solution for a customer, they do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Every decision made within the company can be viewed through the lens of these values. Will TSB work with Kloodle? Well, if we are aligned to their values, then we very much hope that they will. Their values allows them to make this decision.
Facebook is another example of a company with a strong value system. Their values are: –
Focus on impact
Build social value
Companies seem to have a penchant for having 5 values. Its the magic number! A company with 10 values and an extremely strong corporate personality is Zappos.
Deliver WOW through service
Embrace and drive change
Create fun and a little weirdness
Be adventurous, creative and open minded
Pursue growth and learning
Build open and honest relationships with communication
Build a positive team and family spirit
Do more with less
Be passionate and determined
Having strong values as an individual is equally as important as it is for organisations. As a student, apprentice or recent graduate entering the world of work, it is extremely important to identify what makes you tick. What behaviours are important to you? Your values essentially form your personality. Any decision regarding your career and future direction can be made within the framework of these values. If you place high importance on caring and compassion, it is likely that you will seek employment in an area that will allow this aspect of your personality to flourish. By knowing your values, you can make these sorts of decisions.
Creating your own value system is as easy as making a list. What do you value most in your life? Here are mine: –
Commitment to family
Encouraging curiosity and life-long learning
Determination to succeed
Embrace exploration…..who knows where it might take you!
My values serve to direct every commercial (and personal) decision that I make (well, almost every decision….with the exception of my choice of lunchtime sarnie).
TSB employees are encouraged to operate and make important commercial decisions based on the compelling values of their organisation. Power to the people!