At Bam Creative, we like to approach things a little differently. Whilst we've had unwritten company values for years, and we all shared a concept of what we were trying to do, it wasn't until late last year that we decided to actually form these ideas into values.
The problem with most company values statements are;
- They are written by management or someone delegated to 'tick off that box'
- They are celebrated for a week, and then put in a drawer
- They are then forgotten, not revised or not used as measurement
We didn't want to waste our time doing that. Instead, we approached this differently, and would encourage you and others to do the same.
Firstly, the directors were asked to write up half a dozen values. We wrote these in private and then once complete, we shared them with each other. We found plenty of overlap, however we also found a number of unique values that only one director had considered.
Then, we arranged a town hall meeting amongst the team. Our town hall meetings are a chance for everyone to participate; it's not management speaking at employees, it's all of the team coming together and everyone having an equal voice.
The team were given the values the directors had created as examples, and asked to work in small teams to workshop through what values they liked, or what values they would like to suggest. Once this exercise was complete, we came back together, and then everyone floated their value concepts.
We ended up with a list of 30 or more potential company values. Many of these now overlapped each other; different words, but similar meanings. We worked through them, and the group short listed a dozen.
Then, the directors took these dozen ideas (of which probably half were from our original set) and distilled the meanings and direction down to six words.
We wrote up what these words meant, and then we shared them with the team for endorsement.
These were then adopted by the entire group.
We now have a set of company values. These values are different from many organisations, because;
- The entire company was involved in the creation
- They have been given a revision cycle (review each calendar year)
- They are being used in everything we do. No filing these values in a drawer with a tick on a task list.
What this means is they have real weight. They have been created by everyone, so they were decided by all. They are a promise, both by and to ourselves, but also our colleagues. We feel with this process, we can't just ignore them.
In a future post, I'll explain how we actually adopt these, and how we as a team ensure these are embedded within Bam Creative.
Meanwhile, see the resulting values we've adopted over on the Bam Creative website.