Monday, 5 September 2016

The Importance of Company Values – It’s about delivery… but more importantly it’s about the way you deliver

In June 2015 I stood in the boardroom of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and presented our final pitch after an extremely intense procurement competition over a five week period. It felt at the end as we had been in the pre-cursor to the Rugby World Cup itself and our 15 strong sales team (what a coincidence!) of Oracle and Certus were eagerly waiting the outcome of the decision.

Whilst it always takes a team to win these complex deals, especially when the entire Cloud suite is involved, as the one who undertakes the final presentation you do feel what can only be described as the “Jonny Wilkinson moment” (World Cup 2003) where it’s all in your hands to ensure you carry the team to victory and you are struck with the fear of letting everyone down. I am sure we had tears in our eyes at the end and I definitely did when we were awarded the contract! I felt we had won the World Cup.

From the outset we gained an understanding that the RFU’s heritage, culture and values were not just the fundamental cornerstones of the game but also for the Sporting Governing Body itself and how it operated on a day-today basis. Like all organisations it doesn’t necessarily get it right every-day, but that is not for the want of trying and wanting to make a positive difference in everything it does. As a consequence they look for the same values in their suppliers and being culturally aligned is extremely important to them.

The RFU is an extremely complex organisation (I would add not the most we have ever come across) as it covers a range of industry verticals from being a Sporting Governing Body; Event Management; Hospitality; Education; Retail and Charity. Add on top of that it is a global brand that represents our nation both home and abroad and come game time everyone in the country has an opinion. It has the potential to be an absolute pressure cooker being constantly in the public eye and it is very much the organisation’s spirit and core values that underpin everything it does and how it conducts itself. Everyone involved at whatever level will tell you rugby is more than just a game; it’s a way of life. You only have to see the attitude and sportsmanship of Sonny Bill Williams, the All Backs Centre/Wing at the Rugby World Cup 2015, who really is the embodiment of the sport to gain insight into the game.

The really great business engagements from a supplier perspective are those that leave a long lasting positive impact on you. We as a company have learned from our engagement with the RFU and they have both directly and indirectly helped shape us moving forward. Powerful stuff! but their values encompass: Teamwork; Respect; Enjoyment; Discipline and Sportsmanship ( and when you scratch the surface and look at Certus holistically and the individuals who come and work with us, we share the same values, so here's our perspective:
  • Teamwork – “All the talent in the world won’t take you anywhere without your team mates” (Anon). Quoted by myself many times in my postings about Certus “We look after our employees, and ask they look after the company, in doing so they look after our customers”. Building a great company is about building great teams of people knowing that whatever challenge faces us “We win together and we lose together
  • Respect - We respect that our customers have placed their business success in our hands.  JJ Watt, American football player with the Houston Texans quotes “Success isn’t owned it’s leased and the rent is due every day”. At Certus we want to make our customers successful and we want them to be happy in what we do and how we do it! – Therefore this is something we are conscious of every single day and in everything we do with our customers. We set the bar high and it’s a big ask but it always starts with having respect for a customer’s business and its people
  • Enjoyment - We like to have fun! (and We love Rugby! which includes me as an ardent Manchester United season ticket holder and life long supporter). Life is to short and we spend most of it at work. So if we don’t enjoy it then what’s the point?
  • Discipline - Certus people are always certain in their approach; build high levels of trust with their clients through every interaction; are reliable and renowned for going the extra mile; resolved and resolute in their own ability; and determined to deliver a successful outcome to the client in the right way
  • Sportsmanship – Certus is renowned for a “can do” attitude and at times seemingly delivering the impossible, but more importantly “we get the job done in the right way”. This is something I have seen many large consultancies falter at time and time again. It is very dear to our heart and something that fundamentally underpins us as an organisation
Values Have A Purpose
Values are more than mere beliefs. They determine how an organisation will pursue its purpose.
As Certus expands globally we are at a stage where knowing what we stand for isn’t just enough among the founders and those who have helped build the company to date. We have to articulate this to those that join as we want everyone who works for us “to play the game the same way and with the same passion” ensuring that our customers have long lasting positive experiences. It’s important to us that we get this right and that we look to somehow measure this.

So we will take the RFU value set, consult our staff, and over time develop our own. However I know we won’t be too far removed from what we have learned. I think it is also true to say never has a client had such a long lasting positive impact on all of us involved.

Finally if you are attending Oracle Openworld in San Francisco at the end of September 2016 catch Patrick McMaster, RFU, Richard Atkins, EVP Oracle Cloud Practice, and Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Certus Solutions presenting the Cloud journey in the HR stream we went on together, but don’t just talk to them about the Oracle Cloud implementation as you would miss the opportunity to talk to them about how two organisations can find equilibrium, understanding and learn from one another in the process.  There’s the real insight.             

No comments:

Post a Comment