Guide The Committed Enterprise: Making Vision, Values and Branding Work

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Collaboration in conservation launched, aligning our poverty alleviation work with the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda. First impact study completed; 10, businesses started since inception. A small, volunteer-run organization working through local churches, the Village Enterprise Fund provided seed grants to the ultra-poor. She is one of the more than 1. Every day she woke up and made porridge for her five children along with three orphans she cared for, collected firewood for the stove, and then waited for the day to end.

But finding the funds to send the children to school, or to treat them when they fell ill, was impossible. The feeling of hopelessness began to dissipate when Lily and two partners received the opportunity to start a business with the help of Village Enterprise.


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Lily, Jane, and Asuku opened a restaurant, using their initial grant to rent space and cookware and to buy the ingredients needed to make the food. In just a few weeks, their business began to grow. They are also saving money to build a larger restaurant. Now when we wake up, we have hope.

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Six years ago, after participating in the Village Enterprise program, Dinah started a small shop in her home selling sugar, soap, and vegetables. But Dinah and her business partners soon had competitors, so they decided to diversify and add MPesa to their offerings. In addition, Dinah bought a motorcycle and hired a man to transport community members for a small fee. Dinah is a widow with five children. She is now financially independent, an accomplishment that has brought her great pride.

With savings from her business, she replaced the dirt floor of her house with concrete. Her home is neat and clean, with white lace doilies carefully draped over the couch cushions, and her living space is free from bugs and dirt. Today Joseph and Rose run a flourishing tailoring business, but their success was far from assured. He could never afford to return. The cycle was repeating.

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Joseph joined the Village Enterprise program to learn the basics of running a small business. Now they could afford to teach her. Soon she and the other partners sewed constantly to keep up with the growing demand. Joseph and Rose now allow parents to pay for uniforms in installments, thus realizing his dream of helping children end the cycle and stay in school.

She planted crops on a small plot of land she owned and tried to make enough money to support herself and her family. But there was never enough. At first Carolyn was skeptical, but she agreed to take a chance. That moment changed her life forever. With her business partners, Carolyn started selling fish. Soon they found that there was significant competition, so they switched to selling corn and perfume. This was initially successful, but when there was no corn available due to drought they returned to selling fish.

With the increased sales, Carolyn was able to open her first savings account. Recently Carolyn built a new house of concrete—right next to her old house of mud and sticks, which has now fallen apart. Carolyn lives in her new home with eight of her eleven grandchildren and, thanks to her savings, is able to pay for all of their school fees. Carolyn now has plans to buy a plot of land in town and construct houses to rent. Fish changed my life. With my money I can doing anything I want.

Juliet Agemo is a testament to how hard work and opportunity can change lives. Ten years ago, Juliet was under-nourished, so thin you could see the bones in her face. She ate just one meal a day, usually porridge, but sometimes skipped days to buy medicine for one of her three children. School fees were so high they seemed out of reach. She longed to be a teacher, but that also seemed an impossible dream.

With their grant, the partners bought a few lambs, which quickly multiplied and turned into many, many sheep. They sold the ewes, shared the profits, and decided to begin buying and selling pork as a way to diversify their enterprise. This was the beginning of their highly successful pork business in Ngora. Once the business was established, Juliet approached her partners and asked if they would be willing to help her return to school to learn to teach.

They agreed. In , Juliet graduated as a teacher. They will be the next Members of Parliament and doctors. Juliet and her partners have also continued to build their business. Over the past eight years, they have used some of their profits to buy citrus trees. Now they own a massive orchard and will soon be selling the fruit to buyers who come from neighboring Rwanda and Kenya. She smiles broadly with her full, round, healthy face. We live our work lives by it. It makes life at work, work for us. We develop procedures and policy based on that attitude. Everything we do is driven by that core value.

It is that important. Values were less about what we do every day, and more about why we do those things. Providing an employee honest feedback about his or her performance is one example. Trust is another core value that was a clear winner, as acting with trust in others puts us all on the same page. At the same time, clients and shareholders should be able to read and be in agreement with, your core values actually representing, and serving, your brand well.

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They need to resonate across the board. I advise keeping those value-statements to three very short and actionable sentences. But, core values are meaningless if they are not intrinsically used by everyone within the organization. I recommend embodying your core values the same way I would recommend youprepare for a very important presentation: Once you have the presentation deck done, the speaker notes inserted, and you start practicing, you will realize that the more you practice, the more you embody the content and overall spirit.

As a result, our leaders have the same values as our team members. For example, one of our core values is Respect. In order to hold all team members accountable for this value, we do the following:. We hoped these would work as a set of guidelines—values to hire and fire by. More than anything, we wanted to put our company culture into words, for our current team and those applying to our company.

Knowing our core values helps us pinpoint specific goals, and our team has a solid understanding of our mission. We defined our values through the acronym, G. To define our values, I had to do some soul searching and figure out why I started my company in the first place. When you get busy running your business, you might forget your purpose, and this way, your core values get lost.

What I found out is that at the core of our values is taking care of people. We are not medical professionals, but we still look after and care for our clients. We strive to help them when they are mistreated at their jobs and we try to keep their personal lives as smooth as possible. We know that most of our clients are unfamiliar with legal options and the laws that are present, so we feel that we owe a service with our knowledge. When our workers and other customers see how we tend to our clients, business improves and relations flourish.

A company that lacks values will eventually fall apart internally and clients will see through it. It is important that you define and carry out the values of your company: doing so will command respect from everyone, including yourself.

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Your values should be showcased through actions. All we needed to do was set the stage for them to grow. Before this can happen though, you need to make sure to do two things as a business leader:. The way we implemented values was to describe what we already do, rather than writing out how we would like to be. Core values are important because they drive the external reality of your company.

The Committed enterprise : making vision, values, and branding work

Internal values drive employee behaviour. Employee behaviour drives external output. External output drives brand experiences. Culture and brand are two sides of the same coin. Many years ago, when the team was still small — 4 people including our founder Masami Sato — she asked the entire team to sit down together and throw out a full list of items that we would like to see within the team and that we believe are important to help our team do our work most effectively.

After a couple more reviews and some creativity, Masami put together this list of 6 values and arranged them ingeniously into the acronym, DOCARE:. We do what we do because we care and want to make the world a better place. Despite having global presence and operations, we have a relatively small team.

Having shared values and a common caring spirit helps make the team even more effective in encouraging each other, and encouraging our members to care about the world. It truly defines everything we do in the company and what the company exists to achieve. Values mean nothing unless they are stated, embodied, and lived, which is actually a significant commitment.

They obviously wanted to have the opportunity to grow without stress. But as people and as a culture, we value calm, unstressed decision making even in the face of pressure. We also value constant improvement and growth. So our motto and our values were chosen to reflect who we are as people and how we can add value to our customers.

They want a purpose and a group to belong to! The first being that they aligned with the personal values of both my co-founder and myself, and so it was the natural way to go. We then chose them through constant, open and honest conversations about what was important to us and how we wanted Outlaw to be. These core values were then fixed once we reached a mutual agreement.

We define these core values by embedding them into everything we do, even in our product itself as described in my previous email. To begin the process, we gathered input from major stakeholders on what they considered to be the virtues and values of the company. Questions we considered include: What makes the RingPartner culture special? What type of people do we love to recruit? What attitudes and behaviors shine the most at RingPartner? How do we elevate our peers?

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Feedback to these types of questions was pulled into a master list, which was whittled down to four common themes that eventually were transformed into succinct phrases: Raise the Tide, Drive Forward, Be Courageous, and Be REDiculous. We focused on values that made everyone say, That! Once we identified the four concepts listed above we fleshed each one out to have context and real life examples of how anyone on the team could exemplify the core values. Our core values encompass trying new things to expand our comfort zones and foster growth, being considerate of how your actions effect on the work of others, pushing forward through challenging projects in seek of solutions, and celebrating our wins and successes along the way.

At RingPartner, core values are tied into performance reviews, providing every team member with a chance to specify how the core values are reflected in their work. We also share regular team shout-outs to highlight when someone has done a stellar job of embodying one of our core values. But how do you establish those values for your company? It starts with your personal values. I always saw the value of diversity and I knew from the beginning that I wanted Badger Maps to consist of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures, which is why we hire across the nation and internationally.

We are committed to advancing both gender and racial diversity and prioritize fostering a culture that allows our employees to feel comfortable and welcome in the space. Focusing on hiring a diverse team gives us an advantage in customer success. We have customers and prospects of different cultures who speak languages other than English.

This allows employees to exercise their creativity, which leads to innovation. Besides diversity, autonomy and inclusion, appreciation is also key to employee satisfaction in my opinion. By recognizing the things I personally value the most as founder and CEO — which is diversity, appreciation, inclusion and autonomy among others — I naturally shaped the culture toward these values and implemented processes that foster an environment that I see as my dream work place.

When thinking about your values, ask yourself what your personal dream work environment and team would look like and how everyone would interact and work together. Also take a look at your current work culture and team members and what defines your culture and ways of communication. How would you describe the values at your business right now? What makes working there unique? Every business naturally develops its own culture and you have to take a deep look at what that culture contains and how you can define it on paper.

If everyone identifies with your values, they become part of the daily culture and interactions and ultimately, lead to a stronger and more motivated team that helps you grow your business. What drives them each day and makes them happy. You can do this by asking key members of your organization to recreate the best version of your organization. Our values are currently listed on our website. How did we choose our current values? We too, want to bring a sense of creativity and passion to everything we do at Blueboard.

We want to empower our teams to think big, take risks, and learn from failures, otherwise we might get left behind in the dust. Values should be actionable, digestible i. As much as it may be your company, if you have staff that you value and want to keep hold of, you should consider their opinion in what core values the business should have; they are there every day, just like you are. What is it for them that makes a great company culture? What do they think a business should value in terms of ethics, rewards and personality?

Would they rather have a formal dress code or be able to wear what they want? It will also be beneficial when hiring new employees, too, because you will be able to evaluate them on whether they would be good cultural fit based on these values. Doing this will help to define you as the brand that your target audience will want to shop or do business with. This will encourage your customer service department to be as friendly as possible, your sales representatives to be as informative and helpful as possible, etc.

It also helps to establish a tone of voice throughout your business, from your website content to how your employees should dress and communicate to the customers. The reason why every company should have these values is clear: you want to attract and hire people that embrace them, not just accept them, otherwise you will get conflicts within teams or departments rather quickly. And, while technical conflicts or conflicts about how to solve a problem can be discussed, a conflict in values often is not fixable.

They live and breathe the same values. For example, if a company has the core value of punctuality they need to hire people that arrive on time for interviews, that return post-interview calls on time, etc. If they hire someone that tends to be 10 minutes late to meetings and 2 days late with projects it will drive everybody crazy. Knowing your values allows you to hire the right people, which allows for more efficiency within the business. That leads to cost savings, which can mean higher profits or lower pricing to attract more customers.

At the end of the day, not only do we want to provide consumers with all-natural and cruelty-free personal care products, we want to educate consumers in regards to the importance of all-natural and cruelty-free personal care. This is important to us because as nice as it is to build a company that employs and provides for a wealth of individuals and their families, being able to accomplish something greater and having a positive effect on the country at large is even more valuable to us.

Our ripple effect is represented by educating people and raising awareness in the hopes that cruelty-free and all-natural personal care becomes the norm and not an occasional exception. Substance abuse affects the whole family, and therefore, the whole family must be involved and invested in the healing process to achieve the best results. We provide services and support such as dedicated Family Wellness Counselors, online tools, and opportunities for family engagement during treatment.

Loved ones have the opportunity to learn about addiction, the treatment process, and how to support the people they care about in their recovery. Establishing and clearly defining these core values means every employee has a common goal. Providing the best care is simply part of our culture. Before it was my turn to speak, I made the decision to revisit our core values at Anvil and trim from five to three. I figured they would be easier to remember and manage against three values. In terms of selecting the core values, I have the following thoughts, based on my experience: The values should not be table stakes like honesty or integrity.

If you have to say it, there is a problem. To put the final touches on it, as the owner or executive team should get away from the office for a day or so I recommend an annual strategic planning retreat and make the core values a focus. In the end, I believe core values should reflect the current team and culture, especially reflective of your key players. Some of the values can be more aspirational, however. Lastly, when rolling them out to the team, create an exercise or time for discussion so everyone can share their thoughts and gain alignment.

While there are many ways to go about creating your core company values, the way we did it was to focus first on what we stand for. Try to be as specific as possible and relate your values to your company whenever possible. Ultimately, you want these values to be actionable; you want your employees to be able to embody these values. The next question we sought to answer was what we are striving to accomplish as a company and as individuals.

It is important to set goals for your company that are clear and ambitious.