As Metal Toad Media grows, I've found that I have less time to be involved in the day-to-day delivery of code and customer interactions. This shift in responsibilities is normal and expected, but as it happens it's important to make sure that the company vision and values are properly communicated to all of the new people who come on board as well as the existing team members.
So over the past few weeks, I have been asking myself: what makes our company special? What does the amazing staff already at the company believe in and strive to deliver? What do we want to continue to be known for? The resulting corporate values statement is what I came up with:
Corporate Value Statement
The following list of core values reflects what is truly important to us as an organization. These are not values that change from time to time, situation to situation or person to person, but rather they are the underpinning of our company culture. By maintaining these core values, regardless of how large a company Metal Toad Media becomes, we can preserve what has always been special about our company. These core values are the soul of our company:
- Respect people.
- Help people.
- Constantly seek (and share) knowledge.
- Provide value.
- User experience is important.
Respecting the people we work with, goes beyond treating clients politely. Both internally and externally team members should always approach their co-workers and clients by valuing their knowledge and opinions and listening first. We may not always agree, but we should always be respectful of others needs and opinions.
Everyone who comes in contact with Metal Toad Media should leave with a little something. If we can help people without over burdening ourselves, we should. Advice can be given freely. Better solutions, not more expensive solutions should be proposed whenever possible. Other vendors should be referred if we are not a good fit. This spirit of helping should extend to co-workers as well. No policy should ever promote success of the individual over success of the team. Feel free to offer a hand as long as it doesn't get in the way of what needs to be done.
Constantly seek (and share) knowledge.
Being in the technology industry, new information is constantly being made available and new approaches are always being proposed. The schedule should allow for searching out and sharing knowledge, within limits. The general average target should be ~5% of work time allotted to these tasks. It is understood that this impacts the short term amount of money that can be generated, but anyone interested in working at Metal Toad Media should find this an easy trade.
We always remain conscious of who is paying the bill - if not our customer, than our own team. With that in mind we should always strive to deliver the best product/service we can, within the allowance of the budget. This means we should not over engineer or spend money on things that are not valuable to the customer (or the whoever is picking up the tab).
User experience is important.
The best thing we can deliver in our code or our customer interaction is a great user experience. This should always be a central goal of any project.
So why am I posting this on the internet? I believe corporate values shouldn't be a document that is simply checked off a list. It is something that needs to be lived and held up to the world so they can measure us against it. I welcome any feedback on it and will return to it on a regular basis to make sure we stay on course as the months, years and decades go by.
For prospective customers or workers that feel like these values represent what they believe in and/or would like to see - come talk to us. For companies that may be in a similar place - what do you believe in?