Why Core Values Are Our Engine for Success
– By G Satish & Prabu Ekambaram
We are a tech company but don’t view ourselves as one – our goal is never to invest in or invent or talk technology just for the sake of…well, technology. While creating a cloud-mobile suite of user-first B2B Saas enterprise applications, our focus has always been on value – to use technology as a means to deliver the highest value to each of our business stakeholders – our customers (especially end-users), employees, partners, and investors. This focus on value creation from the very early days has guided our core values that continue to drive us.
Too often Core Values and Mission statements are considered “touchy-feely” things reserved for presentations and speeches – not for us, though. This article is an attempt to explain what our core values, and more importantly, why these particular ones are so important to us.
Creating Our Core Values
When we first envisioned Connixt, we were addressing a set of challenges we had experienced throughout our years in enterprise tech – essentially to correct failures in both the front-end software and the back-end delivery mechanism. The former centered around user-unfriendly applications that sold well in conference rooms, and the latter was the inherently inefficient ways in which both incumbent and upcoming enterprise tech companies operated. We wanted to maximize the efficiency of our team and resources, start with a small select set of delighted customers, and scale up our operations once they met our high standards for quality.
Similarly, our goal was to create a set of core guiding principles or values that would sustain the approach and activities that we believe to be integral to client relationships, user experiences, and product success. The values would ensure that we stayed true to our course as we grew and encountered inevitable challenges. We took the act of creating such a list of core values seriously – one that took a substantial amount of thought and reflection, including learning from the stories behind some of the world’s most trusted brands. But once that set of core values was finalized, we knew that Connixt would not only prosper as a disruptor of enterprise software but also as an organization as well – one that clients, employees, investors and partners were thrilled to work with. (That we conceived Connixt at a Starbucks is noteworthy because that was one of the brands we studied then – and continue to study.)
What Are Our Core Values?
Our core values can be separated into three broad areas: our customers, our employees, and our products. These describe how we approach our business by investing in our stakeholders and our services from an external and internal perspective.
A business, by definition, requires customers in order to turn a profit. But the goal of our client interactions is not to maximize revenues, but to maximize value. As noted earlier, our focus is delivering value, not products or technology. By prioritizing value, we can shape our products, processes, and business relationships around that one central goal. For instance, if we believe that we cannot deliver the highest value and quality based on a business’ needs and expectations, we advise them up front and often point them to other possible solutions.
Once a business becomes a Connixt customer, our focus shifts completely to the end-user. Optimizing the simplicity of our products allows us to improve the end-user adoption rate as well as the efficiency gains of a paperless asset and work management system.
One of the largest contributors to value is, of course, quality. At Connixt, our goal is never to compromise on quality or user experience. One way we practice this philosophy is by being transparent and continually investing in client and end-user feedback. In our minds, our products and services are never complete – there is always room to become simpler, faster, and smarter than they already are. Creating honest and communicative relationships with our customers is key to this continuous improvement process. And that starts with our employees.
How effectively we are able to develop our customer relationships and execute our high-quality products with excellent end-user experiences depends on our employees. Of all the qualities we champion as a staff, integrity ranks among the highest. In a recent Sprout Social study, 94% of consumers were shown to be loyal to brands that offered complete transparency. Moreover, 39% said that they would move away from their preferred brand to one that offers improved transparency. We encourage our employees to provide feedback openly and clearly, and especially if it helps meet our first objective of delivering value to our customers. Our employees are empowered to determine what works best for customers and deliver it if they can, and to ask for help if they can’t. Either way, being a passive spectator is not an option.
In our decades of experience, no one has ever complained about having solutions that are “too simple” or “too easy to use.”
There is a reason “Smarter, Simpler, Faster” made it to our logo. Regardless of the problem, and its complexity, we constantly challenge ourselves to deliver smart, simple and easy solutions – powerful ideas that have a tangible impact on how our products work and the value they deliver. In order for us to consistently satisfy our clients’ needs, we need to be able to reliably produce applications and services that are smart enough to make user lives easier (efficiency gains & ROI), simple to use (high user adoption), and easy to deploy & maintain (low Total Cost of Ownership). For instance, one of the guiding design principles in our products is that no commonly used feature should be more than a couple of clicks or taps away. This simple statement has gone a long way in delivering some outstanding user experiences.
Our Core Values as a Driver for Success
As we encounter our day to day challenges of growth, meeting customer (and our own!) expectations, whether a mundane customer support call or an employee requiring help, we find that having a Northstar that can serve as our guide is very, very helpful. We are fully committed to practicing and maintaining our core values in our strategic plans as well as everyday activities. They force us to continually evaluate our processes, activities, and approach no matter the circumstances. What makes these values so powerful is that they are 100% scalable. As we grow, so too will our core values as they continue to drive high-quality products, client relationships, and employee development. We see our guiding values as an invaluable, and necessary, tool for growth and success.