Friday, December 12, 2008

Core Values That Drive Our Company

Many people think that 1-800-DENTIST is simply a listing service for dentists Actually, it is much more. For example, we put our dentists through a detailed screening process, and operate a live call center 24 hours a day.

But what is most unique about our company are the core values that guide the business. These core values were created by the employees, and they act as "rules of the road" for every aspect of our operation. There are twelve of them, and they are:

1. Make everyone feel safe, valued and important
2. Listen closely
3. Be remarkably helpful
4. Integrity trumps profits
5. Learn, teach, and embrace change
6. Be contagiously positive
7. Be unique, playful and memorable
8. Walk our talk
9. Be compassionate, openminded and grateful
10. Balance life and work, and be present in both
11. Do more with less
12. Have a positive impact on the world

These have become part of the lexicon of our business, and they also affect people's personal lives. An employee told me today that she used one of the core values to guide her in a situation the night before where two people were about to get in a fight in a bar. She said she decided to be "Contagiously Positive" and talked to the two men, showed them how positive she could be and that their dispute was silly, and they calmed down and ended up all having a drink together and enjoying the evening.

The bouncers in the club came up to her and asked her how she did it, and said, "I was just being contagiously positive. You should try it sometime. It works!" And they agreed. Nobody's teeth got knocked out, so we didn't generate any new business, but it can't always be about making money!

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