We are trying to create the culture that everyone wants to come to work to, and enjoy themselves. One of those things to help do that is to have a clear vision, of who we are and what we are about.
- This is something we have been working
on for months. About a month ago we were
in a meeting with a trainer and he was like “get it figured out. How about today?” He
was pushing us to figure it out quickly, but
our vision was something I didn’t feel like
I could rush. I can honestly say that I have been working on it everyday for the last three months I have been working out new ideas around the vision. We have been having our senior management team contributing and putting things together. Poor Shelly has to listen to groups of words and how does this sound every day while I was putting this together.
There are a couple things around a vision that is important. Once of the things is it has to be memorable. If we put a vision out there and you can’t remember its not serving its purpose. It has to be something that has just a few words, but expresses what we feel and what our culture and purpose is. The vision for our company is “We create and elevate.” We are creators, what we do is unique. Our stores and our retail spaces are custom. We are creators, creativity is a way of thinking as well as an outcome. We are creators, the things that we create Elevate. Hopefully each one of you are
experiencing some type of creative process and it is helping you become a better person. When we go out and work the customers we are elevating their business. We are helping them understand their story and who they are and we are taking them to a new level. Thats what we do is helping save small businesses across the country. We are elevating them
so they can compete against the big box Was-Marts and stores that are coming in. We help the small to mid size companies become successful. Through our creativity we elevate them. Through the programs and the offerings that we are developing here, you are being elevated educationally, personally, benefit wise and through your way of living. Creative and Elevate is our vision.
To support our vision we had to come up with our core values. What is it that we reek of? What is it that we want people to know and feel about our brand without having to tell them. What is the experience that they have from us? What is it that we are booming and striving to be? Thats what these core values there for. Imagine with me an old fashion wagon wheel or bicycle wheel. In the center of the wagon wheel that all of the pieces hook into is the hub. All of the weight rests on the hub, everything that is pushing on the wheel come through the spokes and center on the hub.
Our hub is Relationships, our company was built off of relationships. Our new leads that we get in through sales are all come because of relationships, we never gone out and formally advertised or marketed our selves. The growth of this company is because people have heard about us and the great job that we do. It
is also on the relations that we have inside with each other. Each one of us are a little bit different, some of are very social, others of us like me are more reserved its a little bit harder to walk up and talk to people. I can stand up and speak very well but I have a harder time walking up and talking to people. I understand that everyone is a little bit different. When
I talk about relationships, its about how do
we treat each other and how we talk do we talk with each other. Do we care about the people that we are working with? Are we concerned about their needs and thinking about how can we help them? How are we going to handle this situation, am I going to improve the relationship or hinder it? When we talk about relationships its important to remember are we creating the relationship that we want to have with other people, are we doing the same thing in the way we treat them. How are relationships are developed inside
of the company radiates out to the way we treat our customers. Just like I say we want our customers to be forgiving from time to time,
I hope with inside our company we can be forgiving from time to time knowing that each one of us are learning and growing in different ways. If you can consider that the hub of what the weight of our company does, is based off of relationships.
Now if you break it down into 4 spokes that build the wheel out, one of those is Discipline. As a company in what we do we have to be disciplined. We can’t set things aside and expect it to be done. Because its custom we
have to think better we have to step up and take care of things when it happens. From time to time things go wrong, and when things go wrong thats when the discipline really comes out and saying I’m going to get back in there and figure this out. It has long lasting affects. It brings to mind a story about Harmons. Harmons is our biggest and main customers that we have. It took me 5 years of constantly making sales calls and getting in with them. This was our first major store that we did
with them, its call District. If you have seen
the pictures of district it has big 20 foot high valances and it has a lot of single color murals. What we had done is matched the color of
the images to the paint and then printed them on vinyl. We went and put the vinyl up on the walls, it took quite a bit of effort in matching the color, printing the vinyl, cutting and then going in and putting it up. Harmons loved the store, it was beautiful. But I remember walking through the store a week or so after the grand opening and looking up at the corner of one
of the images and it was starting to curl. I was like “eww, I’ve got to get that taken care of.”
As I walked around to another image and I noticed that another one was starting to curl, and it was concerning. I went back a week latter and pretty well all of the edges were starting to curl. I called Frank with Harmons up and said “Frank we have a problem.” He said I know, I noticed that the edges of the vinyl is starting to come down. How much
is this going to cost me to get it fixed? I said Frank this isn’t on you this is on me. We put
it up, and I said I have gone in a checked and I am finding out what is going on, and the vinyl is failing. The adhesive that is on the back side was moved from a protruilum based to an ammonia base and the batches of vinyl that we have is failing. He said oh well I can see that
its not your fault, how much is this going to cost me? I said Frank this is my responsibility
and we went in and traced every single one of the images and repainted the entire inside of the store. Now the result of that story is that Frank said that we showed great discipline in coming in and taking care of the store. He said that many other companies would have taken money, he said it showed the type of person you
are and the type of company you have that you had the discipline to own up to it, figure out what was wrong and take care of it. That was the beginning of our great relationship and partnership with Harmons. Because of that when we have mistakes or problems, they know that we have the discipline to get in and take care of it. It was very important to Frank that we had the discipline. Internally when
we have discipline and we step up and we do our jobs and do things right it shows others that we can preform and we are reliable. When we have discipline people can count on us to preform and work in a specific way and it builds trust.
The other spoke that we have is Learners. We are a learning company. Now with that some of you may say that I dont necessary like to read books. Some of us have to read books, I put down 4 or 5 books a month just trying to keep up in reading. Every morning I try to read or listen to
a new article out of a trade magazine, Harvard Business Review just to keep up with where we are going. Learning is more then just reading, it is a state of mind.You dont have to be a well read person to be a learner. A learner is someone who is a bit humble and willing take new information and say I can learn from this, or willing
to learn from a mistake or learning new information to improve what you are doing. A learner is someone who is open to expand their knowledge to expand what they know and their abilities. We are establishing that we are learners here at this company and it is expected that you continue to learn and grow with the company because we are moving forward.