When Solarity was formed from a merger of two credit unions in 2011, a group of employees got together to decide what our guiding principles would be. They were a great collection of thoughts on how we would behave and what we would believe. The only problem with them was that the end result was a 3 page document, and no one can (or should) memorize a 3 page document.
Fast forward four years later, and a group of Leaders are preparing for a Board Strategic Planning session. I wanted to bring something to the Board that spoke to them about the culture that we had been creating at Solarity. Two people in the room had been on a tour of Zappos a few weeks before that day, and they were sharing about the culture of Zappos. It struck us at that time that although we had guiding principles established we had not yet defined our core values. The team quickly came up with our current list of 9 core values.
What’s interesting is that the 2016 group based our core values on what we are, whereas the 2011 group based it on who we wanted to be. I think that difference is vast. The core values that we have today are more genuine. We didn’t try to make them warm and fuzzy, they aren’t aspirational, we didn’t talk about integrity (which is a given!), and we didn’t skirt around the fact that we are a place that requires contribution in return for a paycheck. Solarians, however, are inspired by them. These core values speak to their own internal code. They share core values with the organization, so it is very easy for them to be here and to succeed here.
What are your core values? Are you inspired by ours?