Yes You Can

Making the invisible visible.

Strategies for getting your values off the poster on the wall and into tools everyone can use.

At their core, values are design to control behaviour. Those behaviours are what create your customers’ experiences.

All too often we see either long lists of ‘well meaning values’ or values that just have a feel good sound to them with no substance. ‘good service, dedicated to customer satisfaction and we pride ourselves on listening to our customers’ these are all non action values. We are not saying you should not do those things; however, if they are all you do, you will never stand out, you will never be outstanding.

Values are also different from your purpose in that values never change, yet your purpose might change.

Let’s take a well known example of Apple. When they first went into business their purpose was to give computer enthusiast high end computing components in a kit form that allowed the enthusiast to build their own computer. This soon changed when they discovered that a vast amount of people wanted a ready made computer they could use. So they went back to the design board and designed a complete computer.

What did not change was their values and it impacted how they went about designing their computers for their customers. It is interesting to see how their values drove their success.

One of their values was that everything they built must focus on the user experience. A very interesting value. When they built their computer kits, the way they were packaged, the way the components were marked for identification, the ease the kit could be assembled and the components quality was all driven by the value that everything they built must focus on the consumers experience. The kit, whilst very high value and good quality, there was just no market for it.

Now let’s look at when they built their first computer. A classic hallmark was the user interface. At the time Microsoft had DOS (nicknamed the Dirty Operating System) and when turned on the user was greeted with a green flashing curser. If you did not know the short cut commands, you were out of luck trying to use it. So to use it you had to undergo training.

In comparison Apple; who had a value of ‘everything we produce must focus on the customer experience’, made a computer that when turned on greeted you like a typewriter, something everyone was familiar with. It gave a choice of fonts, so you could personalise your text. It was easy to incorporate graphics into documents. In short, the interface was very user friendly and focused on being intuitive to use, rather than needing to be trained to be used.

We fast forward to today and we still see this value, it is echoed in all the products, the software and the stores and the packaging; everything is about the customer experience and making it better at every level.

Now reading this you can see that when you have values that control behaviours; that is the behaviour of you and the people working with you, you do not need many values to have a massive impact in your market place. These values continually make you a disrupter and leader in the market place and the only reason you will stop being a disrupter, and a leader, is when you stop asking ‘how can we apply our values to our current situation’?

Many top companies only have three values that they run their companies on.

So how can you do this for your company?

Worthington & Stoop