WE all have companies that we respect for various reasons. Sure, you have products and services you like – but I’m not talking about that. This is about respecting a business because it has a wonderful character.
A common example here in Fort Collins is New Belgium Brewing. They have a fantastic reputation in this community, because of the way they support employees and contribute to making this a great place to live. I know many people who would take any job at New Belgium, just to get in the door. And just a few weeks ago they transitioned to being 100% employee owned, yet another strong statement that they unabashedly shoot to be one of the best employers in the area.
Are they a charity, then? Absolutely not. They’re growing, profitable, and an emerging market leader – the last I heard, they were the #3 craft brewer in the nation.
Their success is built on deep character.
I created this blog to speak to all those who are trying to build companies based on an unshakable foundation of core values.
Now, everybody has values, whether you talk about them explicitly or not. Typically, businesses adopt the values of the culture around them: Serving customers in order to maximize income and profit. If you’re publicly traded, it’s almost impossible to resist the shareholder pressures to optimize short-term profit, growth, and stock price.
But if your company is privately held, you have greater freedom to pick the foundation that you want to build on. Sometimes it is explicitly religious, but I’m not assuming that’s the case. I speak with owners all the time who want to build an outstanding legacy and reputation, while providing respected products and services with an energized and loyal employee base.
Some struggle to articulate this, though, and I help them to do that. I show them how to translate those “warm fuzzies” into something which actually drives daily decisions across the entire organization.
I want this blog to help you do the same in YOUR business.