Company culture vs. cliché ⛳️ - Building values in action with the All Blacks 🏉- Fun and serious at BlaBlaCar 🚗- Amazon's core values remain while Bezos is gone 📦- Inspiration from artists 🎹
"A culture that attracts high profile employees in the company can increase revenues".
Episode #83. Hey Sunday reader 👋🏼
This Sunday, The Timestamp is here again for you! Get your weekly dose of summaries from the articles, books, or podcasts you may have missed in tech & culture. This week’s episode is focusing on company culture and core values.
You are now 2000 subscribers to this (free) newsletter! The only currency of this work is clicking on the button ‘like’ or ‘share’! Keep it on and thank you 🙏
#1. “How to” company core values?
Here are my takeaways and notes from this source article “Company core values: 200 examples (+How to establish yours)” written in Dec 2021 found on this company blog HERE.
Let’s face it, company values are often a cliché but… « 63% of consumers prefer to buy from purpose-driven brands » and « a culture that attracts top gun employees in the company can increase revenues by +33% ».
What are core values? They remain the same while the company changes. They mean something whatever the department you work in. Core values create « us »: “Unified operation translates into output that is greater than the sum of its parts”.
« A truly core-value-based company facilitates, encourages, and recognizes demonstrations of those values among its employees. »
How do you determine your core values?
Ask your employees but « Don’t explicitly state that you’re trying to determine core values. Leave it open-ended so you can pick up on patterns. »
Ask your customers. Why did they choose you or your solution?
Look back on key events of the company.
Map it out and select a few. select team members to come up with the three to five core values that make the most sense.
Make them known. Start off meetings with a core values slide and give employees an opportunity to recognize team members who have demonstrated them.
You will find tons of examples of company core values in the source article (see above). But I also selected a few examples. Just keep reading 👇
#2. Core values ‘in action’ for the All Blacks 🏉
A friend of mine recently drew my attention to the values of the famous rugby team wearing the even more famous black jacket. Have a look at their full 15 principles (click below to get the PDF). They are not just keywords sent over a wall with no meaning like ‘Humility’ or ‘Passion’; the power of those principles is that they are put into action, with some explicit context.
Sweep the sheds. Nobody is above anybody. Don’t let ego drive your behavior but be respectful of the hierarchy and other team members. Everybody will wash the floor after training.
No dickheads. Excuse the language. You can develop talent but you cannot change character. Pay attention to attitude.
Know thyself. This one could be from Plato. Be honest about yourself and your performance if you want to become a better person / employee / manager.
#3. Fun and serious at BlaBlaCar
BlaBlaCar incarnates one of the very first unicorns born in France. Their founding team has been a north star to many startup founders in Europe. Why? Because they invented a car-sharing business “CoVoiturage” with a strong culture.
What are the BlablaPrinciples? 6 guiding rules to explain what Blablacar is about. Here are just 3 examples taken from their company website where you can discover the next 3 HERE.
« Be the member » > Be empathetic with your customers or users. Fred Mazella, the founding CEO of the company, used to travel with Blabla drivers, and sometimes he was himself driving for unknown members of the BlaBlaCar community. It happened to him that he would not be recognized by his own members; they learnt from him when being asked ‘what is your job?’. Act like a customer, think like a customer!
« Share more learn more » > This is the way to express teamwork at Blablacar. Share your learning across offices, across departments, and across different countries. Grow together as a team.
« Fail. Learn. Succeed » > If you really think the tech you are building is unique: this means you are opening new routes, you are an innovator. Embrace taking risks, and welcome change as part of a perpetual learning process to succeed.
I really enjoy the fact to be serious alone and fun together as well.
#4. Amazon's core values remain while Bezos is gone
Here are a few takeaways from this Forbes article published in February 2021.
People come and leave. Values remain the same even if your leaders change. What are your company values?
At Amazon, 4 guiding values have been the same from the start.
Cultivating “Customer obsession” (know your competitors but know your customers even more).
Continuous innovation: it is ok to fail but avoid doing the same mistake twice.
Thinking long term, never miss the long-term reason why of your company. It will help you guide what the company has to do next.
Take pride in operational excellence. Think about the things that your customer will never see (pretty much like in the kitchen of a prestigious restaurant). What are you doing for your customers that they will probably never guess?
Values are useless unless you find a way to put them into action every day. Some companies quote a company value at the beginning of each meeting. Some leave the possibility to any employee to nominate a colleague for an outstanding achievement linking it to 1 specific company value.
#5. Inspiration from artists 🎹
This past week, I was lucky to meet a very inspiring pianist… who started playing the piano quite late at 16! His story is just amazing as he was formerly playing basketball for his national team. I will probably talk more about Yaron Herman next time as he also wrote a book about creativity. In the meantime, you can listen to one of his (Jazz) titles below while reading the summary that Patrick Kervern wrote about this article from Trapital “Why artists ‘characters’ are so successful’ HERE.
Dan Runcie, founder of Trapital has a unique insight into long stories and the long game played by artists at the top of their game.
1- In today’s crowded attention economy, new personas help artists create moments that last longer than a social media news cycle.
2- Singles are about marketing, especially in the streaming era. It’s an opportunity to get on radio playlists, top the charts, get seen on TikTok and YouTube, and spread awareness. The Billboard Hot 100 says more about a single’s marketing budget than its popularity. Singles are lucrative, but the highest-selling ones are often backed by albums.
3- Albums are about storytelling. The better that story is, the more experiences can be created from it. Also, it’s more likely that fans, both diehard and casual, will tune into the final product. The fan is already familiar with the artist, but the character-driven story will maximize their exposure.
4- It’s similar to Hollywood. The highest-grossing movie of all time isn’t a standalone film or even a remake. Avengers: Endgame is the closing chapter of a 22-film, 11-year saga. If that film was released as the first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it wouldn’t have made sense (or made as much money). [...] Its box office performance reflects years of storytelling with these characters to get to that point.
5- Music’s top artists across genres are on a similar wavelength and
hip-hop artists are some of the best storytellers we have.
This newsletter is 100% free as this is just a side hobby. You can make me super happy just by sharing it with a teammate, a friend, or a family relative. Just click on the button you see below.
Clicking on ❤️ will also make me know you really read it 😅. Can you do it?
See you next Sunday!
Thanks for reading The Timestamp! Join 2000 happy Sunday readers and receive it every week for free!