Leading With Values
Recently Saskia and I sat in on a class by David Grant entitled, “How Do Mission-Driven Organizations Succeed.” The discussion centered on the growth cycle of Not-for-Profit’s, but as the discussion progressed, Saskia and I exchanged glances.
We began this company with no mission in mind. Saskia loved making jewelry, people loved buying it and that was enough. Years in, that basic dynamic no longer served. We wanted more meaning to our work - a central Why that we could build off of.
Last year we went through a rebranding process (see this blog) that began the work of turning Saskia’s hobby into a true business. We found a new name (SASKIA) a new logo, colors, typeface and other external elements. We launched our new website and imagined our work finished.
But something was missing. We liked the look, but felt a disconnect between our public face and our private sentiments. Earlier this year we began to ask ourselves, “WHY?” Beyond the beauty, beyond the jewelry, who do we want to be as a company and why does that matter?
For two months, the entire company worked together to create a new document. Though entitled the Marketing Plan, what it contained as its core was an enumeration of our values, our mission and company statement. Dominique our Marketing Manager served as a sounding board for Saskia and my thoughts, helping to cut through the fluff and make sure each phrase rang true. This was finally our Why.
Now we know our true North. This has already begun to inform our decision making. As you may know, we just moved to a beautiful, brand new studio with a retail storefront included. At first, we planned to fully separate the retail portion, so we could stay focussed on our work. But as we watched the room take shape (check out this cool video!), we realized that we were not embodying our values. At the very top of our list are the principles of Kindness and Inclusion. A walled off space is not inclusive, nor is it very kind to invite our community into only a small portion of our studio. Down the wall came!
Looking forward our minds drift back to that class with David. We are mission driven, and we intend to succeed. We have our Why and continually look to it as our guide. We look forward to inviting you along with us.