"Committable Core Values. The key word is committable: you must be able to hire and fire for them. If you have the right culture, everything falls into place."
– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and Author, Delivering Happiness
Quick! How many of you have ordered something from Zappos.com? I’m betting that a bunch of you have, and that you’d probably do it again.
Last week I had the great fortune to attend a keynote speech by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and felt that a few of Tony’s insights and the Zappos core values might be some use to us marketers out here who are charged with delivering happiness to our customers.
The most poignant thing from Tony’s keynote was his emphasis on Committable Core Values, that is, to have core values that aren’t just a plaque on a wall but that you can really live out as an organization.
Every company has core values, in fact, it’s one of the items on the checklist when we’re doing social media strategy – we look at an organization’s core values to assess their alignment with the fundamentals of social business such as ethics, responsiveness, transparency, honesty, commitment to customers and so on. The real challenge is whether or not those values are committable and I would add, believable from the customer (external) perspective and deliverable, in that employees are given the power to deliver on those values to customers each and every day.
All of the great strategic and tactical marketing efforts can be quickly washed away by a company who simply can’t commit to core values, deliver on them and inspire belief and trust from customers. BP is getting beat up enough, but if you look at their core values, and compare that to the incident in the Gulf and today’s announcement that their CEO may leave, clearly there was a disconnect from the core values.
Q&A | QUESTIONS & ACTIONS
Tony’s presentation is online for your viewing and I’d encourage you to have a look. It’s very informative, even if you weren’t in the session. To that end, let’s compare our own core values with those of Zappos.
- Can you really commit to your core values?
- Do your customers believe them (and believe in them)?
- Can, and do you deliver on them?
Zappos.com Core Values
- 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
WHERE ELSE TO LOOK?
Delivering Happiness Presentation >> Gaspedal Supergenius Event
Notes from Tony Hsieh’s Keynote >> Gaspedal Supergenius Event
Delivering Happiness >> Tony Hsieh
Peak >> Chip Conley
Tribal Leadership >> Dave Logan, John King & Halee Fischer-Wright
Four Hour Work Week >> Tim Ferriss
Happiness Hypothesis >> Jonathan Haidt
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