Oct 11 2012

Return Path Core Values, Part III

Return Path Core Values, Part III

Last year, I wrote a series of 13 posts documenting and illustrating Return Path’s core values.  This year, we just went through a comprehensive all-company process of updating our values.  We didn’t change our values – you can’t do that! – but we did revise the way we present our values to ourselves and the world.  It had been four years since we wrote the original values up, and the business has evolved in many ways.  Quite frankly, the process of writing up all these blog posts for OnlyOnce last year was what led me to think it was time for a bit of a refresh.

The result of the process was that we combined a few values statements, change the wording of a few others, added a few new ones, and organized and labeled them better.  We may not have a catchy acronym like Rand Fishkin’s TAGFEE, but these are now much easier for us to articulate internally.  So now we have 14 values statements, but they don’t exactly map to the prior ones one for one.  The new presentation and statements are:

People First

  • Job 1:  We are responsible for championing and extending our unique culture as a competitive advantage.
  • People Power:  We trust and believe in our people as the foundation of success with our clients and shareholders.
  • Think Like an Owner:  We are a community of A Players who are all owners in the business.  We provide freedom and flexibility in exchange for consistently high performance.
  • Seriously Fun:  We are serious about our job and lighthearted about our day.  We are obsessively kind to and respectful of each other, and appreciate each other’s quirks.

Do the Right Thing 

  • No Secrets:  We are transparent and direct so that people know where the company stands and where they stand, so that they can make great decisions.
  • Spirit of the Law:  We do the right thing, even if it means going beyond what’s written on paper.
  • Raise the Bar:  We lead our industry to set standards that inboxes should only contain messages that are relevant, trusted, and safe.
  • Think Global, Act Local:  We commit our time and energy to support our local communities.

Succeed Together

  • Results-Focused:  We focus on building a great business and a great company in an open, accessible environment.
  • Aim High and Be Bold:  We learn from others, then we write our own rules to be a pioneer in our industry and create a model workplace.  We take risks and challenge complacency, mediocrity, and decisions that don’t make sense.
  • Two Ears, One Mouth:  We ask, listen, learn, and collect data.  We engage in constructive debate to reach conclusions and move forward together.
  • Collaboration is King:   We solve problems together and help each other out along the way. We keep our commitments and communicate diligently when we can’t.
  • Learning Loops: We are a learning organization.  We aren’t embarrassed by our mistakes – we communicate and learn from them so we can grow in our jobs.
  • Not Just About Us:  We know we’re successful when our clients are successful and our users are happy.

For the 4 values which are “new,” I will write a post each, just as I did the old ones and run them over the next couple months.  RPers, I will go back and combine/revise my prior posts for us to use internally, but I won’t bother editing old blog posts.