The only thing left to decide was if this series was going to be three posts (one for each value) or nine posts, since each of our values has three sub-statements. I was leaning toward three posts, because what start-up CEO has time to write nine blog posts, especially at a company growing at the speed we are?
But given that we use our values to guide Digitize’s decision making process (as you will see over this series), I turned to our list of values to help make this decision. And bam! Our sixth value statement smacked me in the face: “We will be transparent with our values.”
Well, I guess I’m writing nine blog posts! No promises on how long it will take me to complete this series, but I’m committed to the process (a reference to our third value statement).
Why are Digitize’s values important to us?
Because they are core to who our co-founders are, and by extension, to the DNA of our company.
And what do core values have to do with our industry and A.I.? Nothing, and everything.
These values are not just words on a website; rather, in every strategic, practical, and tactical sense they drive everything about our company. They affect how we interact with each other, treat our clients, and make decisions. If I have a decision to make, I’ll glance at the values printed on my wall and see if one of them can help guide that decision.
90% of the time a decision I have been wrestling with becomes obvious to me based on our values.
As our company continues to grow, and more and more decisions are made that I am not a part of, my hope is that these values can help Digitize scale way beyond any personality-led company can. And if someone joins the team that does not hold and live out the values of trust, transparency, and courage, these values can act like an anti-virus and root that out.
Trust Part 1
Without further ado, the first statement under our first value, trust, is: “We will trust that God is in control of this firm and that he will open and close the right doors.”
It’s perhaps the most controversial of our values, given the religious reference, but actually instead of it being a divisive statement we view it as unifying. We believe that we are building something larger than our collective selves at Digitize. In order for me to believe that, I have to believe that there is a being that is outside myself and unites us all.
Despite all of the frantic activity and hustle and bustle of a start-up, we believe at Digitize that “if it is meant to be then it will be.” I have taken immense comfort in this, already in our six months of business, more times than I can count. I can think of one time in particular, when I received extremely unexpected news.
At the time, I thought this news was devastating for the company, but I also remember that in the exact moment of hearing this news, despite my shock, the phrase “we will trust that God is in control of this firm and that he will open and close the right doors” flashed through my mind.
Looking back, that surprising news that I thought was devastating, has actually ended up being the best thing that could happen to Digitize.
One door was closed, but another was opened. I love seeing our values in action!