Some months back we set out to create a set of values, a mission statement, and a vision for the future for Leaf & Limb. Although this is a fairly routine part of company development, we wanted to embrace this task as more than simply checking off a to-do item. We viewed this as an opportunity to dig deep, search for meaning about why we do what we do, extract truths about our organization, and involve company-wide input. Our goal was to produce more than a set of stuffy words that would soon be forgotten after it was created. We wanted to develop a living, breathing framework that would serve as a foundation for building company culture, dictate how we make decisions on a daily basis, and pave the way for the future.
We started with values. As we quickly discovered, there are hundreds of desirable qualities and characteristics that could have made our list. So rather than evaluating every possibility, we started with a list of 15-20 attributes we thought were absolutely essential for a successful company. Once we had our list, we shortened it, revised it, revised it, revised it, distributed to others for input, and repeated – about 5 times!
Our Values: Here’s what we care about most at Leaf & Limb:
- Be safe at all times
- Do the right thing
- Thirst for knowledge
- Share your knowledge
- Exceed expectations
Next we began developing a mission statement. Easy right? We cut down and care for trees. Not so fast. We began to delve into deeper talk about what is it that we REALLY do, and more importantly, why do we do it? As you may have expected, this process entailed lots of meetings at Starbucks, group conversations, phone calls, email exchanges, and brainstorming sessions. When it was all said and done, we agreed that we are in this business for people, not trees.
Our Mission: At Leaf & Limb, we are ultimately in the business of caring for people. Mastering the craft of tree care and tree removal is simply a means to that end.
Although unorthodox, we also created an addendum to our mission statement, simply to elaborate a bit: How do we care for people vis-à-vis mastery of our craft? We care for our clients by providing thoughtful solutions to tree-related problems. We care for our employees by providing education and career opportunities in the tree care industry in a safe working environment. And we care for our community by using a portion of our time and profits to give back.
Finally, once we had created our values and mission, our vision statement easily fell into place.
Our Vision: (Clients + Employees + Community + Trees) x Happy = Vision Fulfilled
We would really love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Our mission, vision, and values will always be a work in progress and your input is much appreciated. Shoot us a note via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Thanks!