HP founders David Packard and Bill Hewlett
It has been five months since The Money Source and Endeavor America officially merged as one. The one thing I have realized throughout this entire process is that different people react differently to change. This is one of the biggest reasons I believe that the Core Values of our company need to be at the forefront of all of our minds when we run through the daily challenges of being a part of our ever growing family and team. I was reading an article the other night from a business owner who got his MBA from UCLA in 1988. During his summer before he graduated, he had the pleasure of meeting the founders of HP (Hewlett Packard). At this point the two men who founded this iconic company were in their 70’s and had long since built what had and is now one of the largest most recognizable brands in the world. To put things into perspective, HP did $111,000,000,000 aka $111 Billion in revenue in 2014 with over 317,500 employees. That’s about 100,000 times larger than TMS/EA, from the perspective of number of employees we have compared to HP. Clearly they did a few things right.
In the article the author talked about the number 1 thing he learned from the founders of HP: “For three hours, the answer to almost every question we asked came back to people. They talked about their relationships with each other and with their employees who, by the way, they never called employees. They spoke about the culture they built. They praised their wives for baking birthday cakes to help with retention, because they knew they couldn't afford to give raises. They talked about how they worked together, working through disagreements and recognizing each others' strengths, almost as if they were married.They spoke about what seemed to them to be common sense, which eventually became known as The HP Way. Treat people with respect. Always act with the highest sincerity and integrity — no matter what.”
The article went on to describe how HP changed over the years, but what struck me the most about this article was the similarities I saw in the way the author described what was important to the founders of HP and how they relate to what I see that we as a team find important here at TMS/EA. I then went to check out what The HP WAY was and this is what I found:
The HP Way
We have trust and respect for individuals. We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution. Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity. We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
We achieve our common objectives through teamwork. We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
We encourage flexibility and innovation. We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.
As I read these 5 statements and their descriptions, I kept seeing similarities to our Core Values and what we find important in our business. What that spoke to me was the following. These two gentleman built a world class multi-billion dollar enterprise because they focused on the one thing that mattered most to the success of their company. They focused on the people. This is not a new idea, better yet an idea that HP adopted over half a century ago. We call this culture now. What this means is that people will always be people. We will always have the same needs of wanting to be inspired, trusted and engaged. We will always want to feel as though the work we do matters. We inherently want to do the right thing and most importantly we want to be a part of making our lives and the lives of those around us more meaningful. The founder of HP recognized this decades ago and we at TMS and EA recognize this today.
We have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to be a world class company like HP. It will not be perfect and we will always have the resolve of our Core Values tested on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. We just need to do what these guys did and continue to live our Core Values and continue to bring them to life in areas where they might not currently exist. This is a process, but I am confident in our abilities to continue to strive to make a difference in the mortgage industry and beyond.