Company Values

Toby MacLachlan, 6 December 2019

We’ve all come across ‘Company Values’ at some point or other, and if you’re like me you probably thought they were bland nonsense dreamed up by HR to make the company seem fluffy to the outside world.

I went to a talk a few weeks back by a company founder who reckoned that establishing an ‘internal brand’ was the most important and difficult thing to get right. So I figured we’d give it a go at our next Innovation Day

Fortunately, at Ignite we’re of a size where we can get everyone in our Manchester office round a (very big) table, so everyone was involved in this process, which was great. We focused on our colleagues, discussing qualities in each other that we admired. We wrote these on post-it notes and put them up on the wall. To divide these dozens of notes into a few categories we came up with real-world examples of when the qualities were evident – someone introducing a new technology that saved everyone time; some who chose a halal restaurant for Friday team lunch to make sure everyone could have chicken; someone who worked late to ensure they weren’t a blocker to a project.

The post-its grouped around each other, and we chose a word that encapsulated that group of qualities. These are our company values. They’re meaningful to us, and we’re trying to refer to them in the way we interact with each other, our clients and our system.

Ignite Values

  • Inclusiveness – We work best as a team in a friendly, flexible, inclusive environment. We’re honest and professional, we go out of our way to create a happy environment, and we never let people down.
  • Passion – We work hard and take pride in the work we do. We proactively take ownership of new ideas, projects and things that need doing.
  • Expertise – We are a team of specialists with deep commercial and technical expertise. We know our clients’ businesses and leverage our technical skills to use that knowledge to help them.
  • Innovation – We are always looking to improve, both ourselves and the products we build. We are responsive, creative, and always strive towards higher quality.

Because everyone got involved, all our team can look at that list and associate some part of each value with themselves, their team-mates and their day to day work.

For those of you out there running teams/companies I highly recommend this value-identification exercise (takes about an hour). It’s a positive, creative and energising process and result.

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