A Mission to Mars

Courtesy of Shaheem Anderson, Age 11
Courtesy of Shaheem Anderson, Age 11

There’s been a lot of talk about our six Core Values:
Team player
Good attitude
Good communication

Are you aware of how we came up with these values?

A couple of months ago, the eight senior managers got together in my office (and on the phone) for a meeting called “A Mission to Mars.” In that meeting, I explained that Martian anthropologists were examining Earth-based companies and wanted us to send five people to Mars that represented what was best about our company.

Each of the managers was asked to pick five people and give me their names on a piece of paper (or by email for the people not in my office). The only other thing I told the managers was that the Martians didn’t care who made the best presentation or who looked the best.

When the forty names were submitted, I was pleased to see that only five people out of forty votes got more than one vote and only one person got three. In other words, 34 names were presented as representing the best of our company and they included mostly line employees, supervisors and managers. What a great statement about the number of great people in our company.

After the names were chosen, I listed the five people with more than one vote and asked the senior managers to explain to me what characteristics these people had that made them feel they represented what was best about the AnswerNet Network. The result is AnswerNet’s Six Core Values.

In other words, these are values that you already possess. Now we have a way to explain what we already knew!

Special Thanks to Verne Harnish, author of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm” 

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