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Delivering Happiness this Christmas

In my time at Proclaim I have become quite an avid reader of what for a better word are usually called business books. This is quite a transformation as in my earlier days I was quite a cynic of management texts. My openness to learning from these books probably stems from the fact I am a little more isolated at the top of a small business and miss the resources that were available at larger companies. However, through resources like my CEO forum and the books I read I really feel like I am in touch, which is so critical in today’s fast paced global village.

I have always loved the Zappos story – a small business that started by selling sneakers on-line. Their CEO, Tony Hsieh, developed that business with a compelling purpose – ‘delivering happiness’, which is the name of his book. He inspired his team with a higher purpose of delivering happiness in a box. So it was not just about selling shoes – it was about a great customer experience.

delivering-happiness-this-christmasLike many great businesses, Zappos developed a unique set of values which formed the basis for their recruitment and staff behaviours. 10 values were:

  • Deliver WOW through service
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Create fun and a little weirdness
  • Be adventurous, creative and open-minded
  • Pursue growth and learning
  • Build open and honest relationships with communication
  • Build a positive team and family spirit
  • Do more with less
  • Be Passionate and determined
  • Be Humble

Their Zappos famously offers each new staff member $2000 to walk away from the business after initial training. Very few do. They also are fanatical about service, to the extent that their staff are trained and their values demand that if you ring them and want to know where you can get a pizza, they will tell you!

Zappos is a great example of a company that is wedded to its purpose and values. As a result it has built a brilliant business driven from the culture within it. Whoever thought selling sneakers could be so sexy?

At Proclaim we have always tried to have the business truly aligned which means our purpose, values and objectives all work together so we create the kind of Zappos culture that promotes excellence in all we do. So we think claims can be sexy too. Our purpose is unique solutions and exceptional results. Our mantra and one of our key values is to go beyond. We maintain a strong set of 7 values that we constantly promote, are the cornerstones of behaviours required in the business and are the basis of the annual assessment of staff. It is also the primary consideration in recruitment decisions – does the candidate fit the values?

I will talk some more about our values in subsequent blogs, but it is fair to say our values system is key to the success of our business.

Jon Broome
Managing Director

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