Back in January, Induron Coatings held our first Management Retreat, with the goal of crafting a Mission Statement, set of Core Values and Goals. Although we are a 65-year-old company, we pride ourselves on staying nimble, and are in the process of transitioning to the third generation of family ownership.
I asked my team to put together a mission statement, values and goals. What occurred was nothing short of magic. Instead of coming up with a whole new way to run a successful organization, we ended up focusing on what got us to our 65th birthday. It turns out, reinventing the wheel really is wasted time.
Unlike many other regional paint manufacturers that have gone out of business or been gobbled up by our giant publicly traded competitors, Induron Coatings – previously Indurall Paints and Industrial Paint Manufacturing Co. – has remained in business because of the time-tested values that our management team came up with.
These simple but very real values are: Integrity, Respect, Reliability and Innovation. Each stands alone in value for our company, our employees, our suppliers and, most importantly, our customers. However, when all four are honed day-in and day-out, their combined results can only mean one thing: Success.
The Induron management retreat team consisted of key department heads, including sales, manufacturing, accounting, pipe sales, executive staff and our technical director. We visited a remote destination so everyone could be free of their daily interruptions and distractions (and maybe even our Blackberries). I’m certain that all of us had different expectations and/or fears about the retreat. Our process was to agree upon a measureable goal for the entire Induron team, then come up with a “few” core values, move into an overall Mission Statement and culminate the meeting some steps we could take to implement these new values.
During the meeting, I asked each individual for their input. As is usually the case with most businesses, our team is made up of several different personality types, and everyone’s experience in the industrial coatings business is a little different in terms of both duration and responsibility. However, I was very proud of the interaction, sharing and general consensus of the group during our discussion. No one individual dominated the floor, and there were some back-and-forth discussions regarding “Integrity” vs. “Respect” during our Values section. We ended up compromising and selecting both!
I am very proud of our “new” company values, and would like to break them down a little more:
- Integrity – Do what you say you will do, and don’t make excuses; it’s what I want from all Induron employees. It’s also what I expect from my children, wife and mostly myself.
- Respect – Honor your co-worker, supplier and customer at every turn. We view this almost like the Golden Rule.
- Reliability – If our customers don’t get what they are expecting, then we’re not holding up our part of the bargain. This value certainly is a main reason why we’ve made it 65 years!
- Innovation – In the complex chemical business, if we can’t come up with a better mouse trap than our competitors, we lose. This one is an absolute necessity, but a good, consistent reminder that we can never rest on the success of our current products.
Upon completion of our goals and values, we moved into the sometimes murky waters of crafting a Mission Statement. I’ve read many Mission Statements that were so general I didn’t even know what the business was. I’ve read others that are so long winded and/or complex that I know no one in the organization could remember it. I am literally overjoyed and proud of our result:
Reliable Protection through Innovative Coatings!
Short, sweet and to the point!
If your organization does not have a succinct Mission Statement, publicly (within the organization) known values, agreed upon and regularly stated goals and, most importantly, regular management team meetings where this level of information is discussed, I strongly encourage you to facilitate them NOW. Our retreat helped our team come together, create an accountability structure, encourage communication and better understand one another.