I just read a great profile on an inspiring woman, Naomi Ballantyne, who founded both Sovereign (with Chris Coon) and Partners Life on the North Shore. With her astute business skills, she’s created 2 insurance companies and Sovereign are obviously massive (and a Business Changing client, go Sovereign!). Wow! She’s a very clever woman: if you’ve got some time, read the full interview HERE.
One line really struck me in this article. Naomi believes in being fair and reasonable in her dealings with customers, and she’s not just talking the talk. So strongly does she feel about being fair when it comes to non-disclosure and void claims that she’s whacked this catchy motto onto all of her marketing: “If it’s grey, we’ll pay”. What a bold statement! I love it!
It’s a brave move, formalising a statement like that and putting it into every policy. But it shows just what sort of company Naomi’s running: one that’s willing to stick their head out, one that’s willing to take the customer’s side and word, one that prides itself on their fairness. There’s no hiding from a tagline like that. I love that it’s not wishy-washy, that it has meaning, that it clearly tells the public, “This is what we do and what we stand by”. Customers are always wanting transparency and honesty from who they do business with, and that motto – “If it’s grey, we’ll pay” – is a prime example.
Motto aside, it would also make a great core value. The best core values are succinct and honest and make a clear statement about what how your company operates. This is what we do. Not only do they speak to the customers, they also speak to the staff – they explicitly say this is what we do, ie this is how we act, this is what we stand for, this is what we expect from you. They’re the best way to get staff on the same page and to help with decision making. I’m doing a lot of work on core values with clients at the moment – let me know if you want help with yours, or with other business coaching advice. firstname.lastname@example.org