Early in our partnership at Engine, we decided that since our enterprise is dedicated to helping other companies understand what is at the core of their businesses, we should probably figure out what was in the depths of our own coal-black hearts.
So we sat down and hammered out a values statement. We came with words and phrases that we felt were important to us, and there were tons of them. Then we started reducing. Throwing out the ones that were too obvious or trite; the ideas that usually appear on “our values” lists.
(An aside: the champion of words of this sort has to be “integrity”. Pretty much every time a company bothers to think through their values “integrity” shows up. And why not? Everyone wants to work with a company that has integrity; everybody feels they have it in spades. And therein lies the problem: integrity is a universally assumed value. We all presume from the get-go that every company we deal with has integrity – otherwise we would not deal with them. Would anyone enter into a business relationship where they think there is a good chance of being ripped off? No. Integrity is table stakes. So we tossed it.)
We had conversations like that about every word we were considering: we asked why/how questions of each of them until we came to 9 words that tightly defined who we think we are.
They are: Inquisitiveness, quirkiness, insight, wisdom, collaboration, aesthetics, confidence, inventiveness and delight.
You’re probably noticing that not all of these are “values” in the traditional sense. That’s OK with us. What they describe are not just values, but things we find valuable in doing our jobs. Being “quirky” isn’t a belief we hold, but it certainly is true of us as people, and we think it helps us look at things through a lens that is ever so slightly askew. So often we see things a little differently. Which is why people and businesses hire us.
Each word is important to us as craftsmen doing our jobs. Also important is the order we put them in. We look at these words like this:
You’ll notice that “Delight” is in the middle. That’s because we are in a service industry and never forget it. Our clients pay us to deliver things, and it sure is better getting things from a partner that is a delight to work with. We strive to make all of those other things we value land with our client in a delightful way. So working with us is never “difficult, but worth it”. It’s just worth it.
So call us if we could delight you.
Posted in Branding