GeekHive’s Mission, Vision, and Values
May 17, 2017
A few months back, I shared some insight into our company off-site which was focused on identifying our Mission, Vision, and Values. It was an amazing workshop, and did a great job of helping us discover our “why.” These simple statements will guide us as we continue to grow.
To reiterate from my last post, these statements serve very different purposes:
- The Mission acknowledges and articulates the company’s core purpose; why it exists. For employees, it’s a clear reminder of why we do what we do.
- The Vision is all about the future state. It should be inspirational and aspirational; something everyone in the company is constantly working towards.
- Values or Value Statements serve as the moral compass. They represent the company’s most coveted, deeply held beliefs and inform decision-making and standards for how the company and its team members conduct themselves.
Start with Why
Identifying our core values and mission was not only important for the company, but for our employees. Understanding why we do what we do helps to align us around a common purpose. And it creates a better employee experience to know that the company is making choices that align with our shared beliefs and vice versa. It will also create a better, more cohesive customer experience, with everyone who interacts with us benefiting from our ‘Why’, and acting in support of our shared vision.
This will also serve to help people who may want to work here identify if GeekHive is the best fit for them or not. Do their core values align with ours? Does our mission help them to fulfill their personal why? Gary Vaynerchuk and Simon Sinek recently got together to do an episode of #AskGaryVee that covers this in more detail: Your Why vs. the Company’s Why & Always Being Yourself, check it out here.
Journey, not a sprint
We knew this was a journey and would require some time and space to work through. We also knew we wanted to continue to include the entire team as much as we could. Through a series of smaller group meetings focused on further exploring sets of similar personal values identified at our off-site, we were able to determine and define the underlying core values that we, as a company, hold true. It was really interesting to see how aligned everyone was, and how clearly these core values surfaced to the top.
Early on we knew that we would not be happy with generic words on a plaque. We needed to capture the essence of these values that guide each and every one of us. After countless hours of refinement, we settled on 6 simple statements that we feel best embody our core values.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”—Roy Disney
Our Core Values
People First. Employees second.
No surprise here, this value has been a part of our culture and clear to everyone since the company started. It’s such a simple concept, yet everyone here embraces and appreciates how powerful it is. It paves the way for our family-oriented culture of respect, caring, and empathy. And, if you’ve spent any real time on our site, you’ll see it’s dominated by images of our people because they make us who we are.
“When I had my son, I knew that I never had to worry about the impact that would have on my job. I was able to focus on him because I knew I was part of a very supportive community that would have my back to help usher me through this huge life change.” Phil Azzi – Developer
Be Fair. Always and in all ways.
Success is mutual. We benefit from our hard work together as equal partners in our relationship. This one was very important to our founder and CEO Peter Ladka. Before starting GeekHive, Peter, like most of us, had jobs where he felt like a number and not an individual. Peter vowed that if he ever had a company, he’d do things differently. He’d make sure his employees were always treated fairly, like people first, and acknowledged and rewarded for their contributions. This has been a value that he has never wavered from no matter the circumstance and it’s helped the company grow because we now have long standing teams and leadership that is just as invested in the company as Peter.
Harness Passion. Feel it, embrace it, use it.
Passion encompasses all of the reasons why we do the work we do. Passion is the reason we push ourselves to grow and face challenges head on. Passion is what keeps us coming back daily. Passion is also what got us through the hard times when the economy was down. We’re a passionate group, and it shows in our interactions and the work we produce.
Unleash Creativity. The answer is inside of you.
Many people don’t realize just how creative technologists can be. We use creativity daily to come up with strategies to solve business problems. Whether it’s designing workflows, or architecting a series of sites that need to work together at scale, we’re really good at using our creative side to help bring our digital partner’s ideas to life. To see what I mean, check out this blog post by our President and CEO Peter Ladka, Are you Technically Creative?
Maintain Integrity. Even when it’s not easy.
Dependability, reliability, and trust all fall under integrity for us. When most talk about integrity as part of their values, it’s put on a pedestal and positioned as something that shouldn’t necessarily be expected, but we don’t see it that way. We believe it needs to be a standard for any business that supports other businesses. Much like we expect a beam in our house to hold up the roof, we believe our partners should have that same trust in us. That beam is under a tremendous amount of pressure, yet it does what it needs to do, just like us…even when it’s not easy.
We worked with one client that had a failing platform which we were hired to patch. After a full assessment of the platform we knew we couldn’t, in good faith, continue to apply short-term fixes and instead decided we needed to get to the root of the problem, even though it was outside of our initial scope, and could result in less long-term support of a failing system.
Honor Commitment. To our partners, our clients, and each other.
We strive to live up to a set of standards that raise the bar of excellence in our space, and we refuse to under-deliver on our commitments. This includes understanding the vision for all projects we take on; not just the technical requirements, but the underlying business rationale as well. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to help our partners, and end-customers accomplish what we set out to do together. We succeed together and honor the fact that we get to play our part. You need only look at our work to see how hard we work for our partners to make sure their vision comes to life.
Through this process, we thought a lot about our mission; why we exist. While we haven’t finalized our full mission yet, we have identified some key points:
Why we exist…for our customers.
We use technology to push our partners forward bringing their digital ideas to life. Through our technical expertise, we consistently deliver exceptional experiences and strategic, impactful outcomes to our agency partners.
Why we exist…for our employees.
We provide opportunities for people to earn a happy, healthy living doing what they love to do.
“I’m excited to have a company that helps people make their lives better than they would be if we didn’t exist. I like knowing that somehow our lives are better for knowing each other and working together. I believe that the best way to create positive change in the world is from the inside out, starting with our family, our work colleagues, it will trickle into our community from all of them, and from our community into the world at large.”
– Peter Ladka, President and CEO GeekHive
Also, a work-in-progress, our vision continues to evolve and become more clear.
We are already honored to partner with some of the best creative and digital agencies in the US, and see this expanding to include all of the top players.
Partnering with strong creative teams has resulted in our best work. We know what we do very well, and focus on that, and allow our partner to focus on what they do really well. As we continue to show our partners how much stronger we are together – we believe they too will prefer this approach since it supports them to succeed at the highest level.
As CXO at GeekHive, I’m really proud of this work we have done. I believe it has already been transformative for our company and will continue to serve as a strong foundation as we grow. Including everyone in the process, and not just assigning a task force to figure this out was clearly the right solution for us. Everyone identifies with the statements because they are based on the work that we all did together. Since finalizing our value statements, we have found ourselves referring back to them to help guide our decision-making. Personally, I believe going through this process has been a powerful tool because it takes out any second-guessing or worrying about the decisions we are making so long as they are in alignment with our mission, vision, and values. If you take a position on something based on your value system, you really can’t go wrong.
As always, if this stuff interests you, please connect and/or tweet me @mcaccavano to continue the conversation.
If this resonated with you and you’re looking to join our team, check out open positions on our Careers Page.
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