A few years ago we thought long and hard about whether we wanted company values. So many businesses get them wrong and all mentions of them begets eyerolls.
Thankfully, the want for a set of guiding principles to help us maintain our culture, and achieve our increasingly ambitious goals, overpowered any fear or scepticism. (You can learn about our values here.)
In the eye of the COVID-19 storm, it’s abundantly clear how vital a role our values have played in helping us weather it - as a business, as a team and as individuals.
It's far from over, but already Coronavirus has been one of the greatest tests to business in modern history. While brands increasingly rely on social media to connect with their customers, our ability to See Challenge As Opportunity has enabled us to help our clients pivot, and quickly. We’re not relishing it by any means but our growth mindset has meant we have produced work that is meaningful. We feel extremely proud and motivated by the thought that in our own way we have been able to help.
In high pressure situations there is no room for misunderstanding. This challenge is compounded by the extended period of remote working we’re experiencing. Our ability to Say It Simply has allowed us to communicate honestly and effectively as obstacles are found, limits are reached, decisions are made and plans are changed. If you focus on communicating well, it doesn’t actually matter whether it’s on Zoom / Slack / call / email.
We’ve all had to get used to working with less pretty quickly, whether less means people, budget, office or routine. We’re also all feeling the importance of getting the results to keep our businesses and our economy afloat. Get More From Less is our default setting at Born Social, but that’s not to understate the tenacity it requires. While we’re all working extremely hard, we’re thankful that we’re trained in using limitations as thought starters, rather than blockers.
The less you have to work with, the more delivering on your word means. Now more than ever, we need to Do What We Say; for our clients who are relying on us to help them, and for each other who’s skills and support we need to do that. Under stress it’s easy to turn to micromanagement but when your entire team is separated, that’s impossible. This value means we don’t do it, ever, because we have implicit faith in each other to follow through.
The culmination of all of the above means we Make Each Other Better. Isolation and uncertainty is so very hard, but our can-do attitudes are infectious. Our communication is clear and caring. Our creative use of constraints is inspiring. Our actions are reliable. In those moments when you can’t summon the energy to keep going for yourself, you do it for others.
I’ve always been proud of our values. They feel broad enough to apply to any situation but specific enough to steer you. I have certainly found them useful during business as usual, however, it’s in crisis that you realise they are much more than nice to haves, they’re needed to a critical degree.
In a time when no other rules apply, they remain the conductor of the orchestra.