A refreshing ‘values’ page

I’ve seen a lot of ‘values’ documents over the years. A lot. And I can tell you two things about them.

Thing one:

The same values come up again and again. Everyone is ‘open’ and/or ‘honest’ and/or ‘trustworthy’. Why does everyone use the same language to describe what they stand for?

Thing two:

It’s all ‘tell’ and no ‘show’. Brand value documents tend to be stuffed with statements about ‘we are committed to this’ and ‘we’re dedicated to that’ and ‘people are at the heart of our business’ or ‘we leverage the talent of our employees’. I always want to see the proof. Show me how you make the most of your employees’ talents, don’t just tell me.

So, it was really refreshing to stumble on to the Wells Fargo ‘vision and values’ page and see this as an introduction:

Our progress has not been perfect. We learn just as much from failure (perhaps more) as we do from success. Companies are made up of human beings who make mistakes. When we make them we admit them, learn from them, then we keep moving forward with even more understanding, guided by the same values toward the same vision.

They sound open, honest and trustworthy. They don’t have to tell me they are.

And these are their values:

People, ethics, ‘what’s right for customers’, diversity and leadership.

It’s a bit of an odd collection of words admittedly, but I think ‘what’s right for customers’ is an interesting one.

So well done Wells Fargo. I could do with an American bank account. I think I know where I’ll go.

0 min read, posted in Tone of voice, by Admin, on 16 May 2012