As a values-based organization, we are incredibly passionate about running our business by those values, using them as a compass to make decisions and infusing them in our everyday actions to create our culture. We love to hear stories about other companies operating with this same ethos as they inspire us and remind us of the power of living by your values. With this in mind, this week we wanted to share with you some great stories of companies that don’t just promote general platitudes about “our people” and “our responsibilities,” but truly live up to their values in meaningful ways:
Best Buy – Take Back Program
On its website, Best Buy calls itself “a growth company focused on better solving the unmet needs of our customers.” While this may sound like any other generalized slogan, BestBuy doesn’t just solve the unmet need of its own customers, it actually services the customers of its competitors too. What is more, this vision does not waver, even when it costs them to fulfill it.
Best Buy does the dirty work for consumers through its Take Back program, which launched in 2009. Take Back invites anyone to bring their old electronics to a Best Buy store for free recycling. Did you buy a weighty rear-projection television from RadioShack 20 years ago? No, problem, Best Buy will cover the cost of getting it responsibly recycled. In a world where online giants like Amazon are expanding their global reach by undercutting the prices of traditional electronics retailers, it is refreshing to see Best Buy making their customers and sustainability a priority.
Netflix – Giving Freedom To New Parents
Netflix states that they “value high performance, freedom and responsibility. We don’t focus on rules, processes or procedures…” In an admirable example of taking words into action, Netflix has applied these principles to its US employee parental leave policy: “We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” says a recent press release. This means that Netflix employees can be absent from work as much as they want during the year following their child’s birth or adoption (which is not standard practice in the US). Part-time, full-time, no-time at all… Netflix will arrange tailor-made parental leave coverage so that the new parent can enjoy time with their newborn.
Barcelona FC – Making Giving A Priority
Advertising on an elite soccer team’s shirt can cost up to US$82 million a year (that’s what Chevrolet pays to have its logo on Manchester United’s shirts). Taking this into account, it’s amazing that for most of its 115 year history, Spanish super-club, FC Barcelona eschewed shirt sponsorship. In fact, from 2006 to 2011, the Catalan club paid UNICEF 1.5 million euros per year to promote the charity on its shirts. In the world’s richest sport, no other club has ever switched the sponsorship concept around like this. As European soccer became increasingly rich in recent years, Barcelona ultimately felt it had to keep up with its competitors and in 2011 the club finally accepted corporate sponsorship from the Qatar Foundation. Nevertheless, FC Barcelona still pays UNICEF the same 1.5 million euros per year to display the charity’s logo on the back of its shirts.
FC Barcelona’s vision is to be “more than a club.” Prioritizing charity over jaw-dropping advertising revenues is more than any other club in soccer has ever done.
Values & Your Bottom Line
Did you know that Best Buy began turning a profit again in 2014 after years of decline; that Netflix shares are through the roof; and that FC Barcelona are the current holders of the Champions League trophy? A corporate vision or values statement can be more than a catchy slogan tucked away on a company’s website. It can be the DNA of how a business operates and, as these examples show, it can be a key component of a company’s success.