Principia for After-sales – part three
Today, Ryszard Chciuk continues his blogs on Principia for after-sales with part three of the series.
In several posts starting from Principia for Business, I am sharing my way of defining and implementing the main principles (values). In Principia for After-sales part 2, I presented my point of view on the potential conflict between private and company values, on the importance of constant reminding and following of the main principles, and how I was writing their definitions.
Now, let’s go back to my after-sales team’s main principles. They were listed in Principia for After-sales part 1. It was my adaptation of our corporation’s main values: Quality, Safety, and Environmental Care.
The No 1 is “Integrity.”
The notion of integrity is mentioned on about 500 million of webpages (only in English). So, what did it mean for us? I decided to use the Stephen L. Carter definition: Integrity, as I will use the term, requires three steps: (1) discerning what is right and what is wrong; (2) acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and (3) saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong. It was not easy to explain that definition in simple words. Lately, I found the more useful explanation. Charles Marshall in Shattering the Glass Slipper wrote: Integrity is doing the right thing when you don’t have to — when no one else is looking or will ever know — when there will be no congratulations or recognition for having done so. Where is the man who will do the right thing, no matter what the cost? Is there anyone who will act with integrity even if it means losing a job or an important business deal? Where is the woman who would be willing to act in openness and honesty if she knew it meant losing a significant relationship or a large sum of money? Are there still people in this world who would sacrifice their pride, relationships, or profit in order to maintain their integrity? Are you such a person?
These are hard questions, but you have to answer them if you treat seriously your values. And do not forget to discuss with your people how it is working. The best way is to analyze examples taken from your company life.
The No 2 principle is “Care of people and environment.”
It translates into “Always take care of your co-worker, customer, supplier, investor and of all kind of life”. Obviously, it concerns safety, too high fuel consumption, respect for the environmental regulations, stable and decent working conditions, etc.
The No 3 principle is “Profitability.”
It refers to all players of the business game you are in. You need to earn enough money to stay in business. When you fall, your customers will not be supported at the same level, at least by the time another provider takes over your business. Also, you will not be able to support customers if you kill your suppliers, and this happens just after you force them to supply products at the same quality, but for a much lower price. Then you will also be a loser. If you want to increase your department profitability by the reduction of your employees’ remuneration, they will decrease their loyalty and your company will die soon.
The No 4 is “Excellence.”
This means: “We are satisfied with nothing less than the very best in everything we do”. Today I would remove this principle from the list. Why? If you want to be recognized as the man of integrity you do not do things in a sloppy way, isn’t it?
Next time I will present some examples of how we utilized our values.