A visual representation of Vision, Mission, and Values

Does Your Company Even Have Values?

—Why we spent 16 hours writing our Vision, Mission, and Values

Okay, so why? Doesn’t everyone just say the same thing, anyway?

No. Not if you’re doing it right.

When we set out to write our vision and mission statements, we asked ourselves and each other impactful, philosophical questions—questions which put us in touch with our most deeply-held beliefs and our individual codes of conduct. These findings served as a basis for determining what our team, collectively, wanted our company and work environment to feel like.

Argyle Octopus’ vision is simple but powerful:

People Matter. Life is Colorful.

Our mission:

We emphasize fun and great design for exceptional people.

These statements may seem obvious, but they are completely true and perfectly express the purpose and culture of our company. Having these statements written isn’t enough, though. They must be incorporated into the fabric, decision-making, and overall processes of the company in order to mean anything. To help us figure out how to support our lofty vision and mission, we created a well-defined set of values. These are the values that we strive to operate in accordance with:

Autonomy:

We balance freedom and responsibility. Freedom to make decisions comes with the safety to make mistakes and the responsibility to learn from them. Each person is charged with the task of making processes better.

People Matter:

We value stakeholders (nom nom nom), over shareholders. A stakeholder is anyone who benefits from the success of Argyle Octopus. This includes our employees, customers, vendors, owners, and community members. Creating a happy, healthy workplace is more important than creating personal wealth. The relationship we have with our stakeholders affirms our work and our company.

 

“Steak” holders (nom nom nom)

Fairness:

Stakeholders are treated justly and without bias. Everyone’s work, voice, feelings, opinions, and passions matter.

Sincerity:

We are honest with ourselves and our stakeholders. We mean what we say, and our actions align with our values.

Life Is Colorful:

The work we do is fun. Life is too short to be boring. It is also too short for bad design. We value self-expression, jokes, and afternoon giggles. We sing our thoughts and double-dip our bread. We are fundustry experts.

Learn & Teach:

There is always more to learn. We are not content with the knowledge and skills that we currently have. We are constantly seeking improvement. It is not enough to learn; we must also teach others.

These values become the foundation for how everyone on the team operates. When we have a judgement call to make, (as will happen when one of your values is autonomy) we can ask ourselves, “Does this decision contradict any of our company’s values? Does it support any of our values?” Often the answers to these questions can be a solid starting point when determining an appropriate course of action.

But, enough about us—we want to hear from you! Tell us how your company lives out its values.

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