THE LEADER'S CIRCLE
Values, Leadership & ‘The Vertafore Way’
By Amy Zupon, Vertafore CEO | 6/13/2018
Before you can achieve your goals, you have to define who you are. What characteristics exemplify your firm, your employees, and the way you treat your customers? Do you have a vision and guiding principles? Getting better every day. Existing for our customers. Delivering results you can see. These are ours, and I can tell you firsthand that the act of defining and creating these pillars is one of the most transformational things you can do for your company.
According to research conducted by business expert and best-selling author Jim Collins, companies with a clear vision and an enduring core purpose outperform the stock market by a factor of 12! Defining who you are as a company, aligning your values across the organization, and creating a sense of community and common purpose are vital to your success.
This past year at Vertafore — my first year as its CEO — we focused on many things, but one of those was on updating our purpose and core beliefs. Through interactive workshops, focus groups, and roundtables with employees at all levels across the company, we learned what makes us unique, what defines us, and what we aspire to be.
Together, we came up with five core values known as “The Vertafore Way.” These principles permeate every facet of our operation, including how employees are evaluated and rewarded. Since we used employee input to create them, the buy-in and enthusiasm thus far from our team has been fantastic!
Our five principles are:
- Customer success is our success. Our goal is to make our customers successful in their businesses. At the end of the day, we’re successful at Vertafore when our customers achieve their objectives by leveraging our solutions.
So we’re not just in the software business — we’re in the customer solutions business.
- Say it, do it. We want to be known as the people you can count on, who are reliable and follow through on what they’ve promised. We strive every day to be an organization that does what it says it will do.
- Show up curious. We’re constantly learning. The industry is evolving, our customers are evolving, and regardless of how long you’ve worked at Vertafore, or how new you are, you’re evolving each day. Showing up curious means asking questions, pushing boundaries and solving problems. As Dr. Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) says, ‘Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.’
- Win together. It’s all about collaboration, working together as one team to produce results. We partner, not just with each other, but also with our customers, in everything we do.
- Bias to action. Moving quickly is important to us and we’re OK with failing fast as we work toward a solution. We don’t want to be known as the folks who sit back and analyze situations for years and don’t do anything. If there’s a problem, we want to act on it and try to make a difference.
The internal launch of The Vertafore Way this past October was a huge milestone in our development and it’s been so gratifying to see the extent that employees are taking our values to heart and demonstrating them daily, whether dealing with internal teammates or our customers.
While I’m extremely proud to have lead Vertafore through the process of creating The Vertafore Way, I hope to encourage you to think about your own core values on both a personal and professional level.