I started my business career some 25+ years ago in an entirely different era. Fax machines and word processors (a machine that looked like a typewriter) were really, really cool! Cell phones? Those were years off into the future. The Internet and email, that was the stuff of DARPA and I’d certainly never heard of those guys (look ’em up). How in the world did we go anywhere without GPS? Seriously, I remember going on a driving trip to Canada with my Dad and brothers in the late 80’s while I was in college. Get this, we actually used an Atlas and even had to manually turn the pages at times! No machine or device existed to bark out turn-by-turn directions.
Yes the times have changed and yes technology is ever more quickly evolving but here’s a constant through it all. The value of Values in an organization has and always will be the thing that matters the most. If anything, in today’s fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world, I’d say the values of an organization matter more than the actual products and services the company sells. Why? Because if you have the right values, and the leaders of the business are serious about them, and you attract people who embrace them, your culture will be so special that you will develop products and services that customers love even in times of rapid change.
At PictureU, our Values are found on our website and printed on posters around the office. Why so visible? Because we’re serious about them and we want the constant reminder that our values aren’t about what we do, but who we are and how we conduct ourselves. This isn’t meant to say we don’t make mistakes nor that we’re in any way perfect stewards of our beliefs. We can be just as fallible as anyone else, but with our values we have a center point. We openly discuss our values and I can proudly say our team is comprised of people who hold themselves and one another accountable to our way of doing things.
So after all these years I mean it when I say: Building a team of people who embrace our values, who exercise good judgement, and who have awesome attitudes may be the most important thing I do here.
Walt Geer / CEO – (and Chief Values Guy too)