« Pay attention | Main | Roles and responsibilities »

Values to love

Many Yahoo! values were put into practice by two guys (David Filo and Jerry Yang) in a trailer some time ago (1994). Today Yahoo! has 11,000 employees worldwide.
Excerpts from Yahoo! We Value…
Excellence: We are committed to winning with integrity.
Customer Fixation: We respect our customers above all else and never forget that they come to us by choice.
Teamwork: We treat one another with respect and communicate openly.
Fun: We believe humor is essential to success. We applaud irreverence and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We celebrate achievement. We yodel.
What we don’t value…
Bureaucracy, broken links, decaf, arrogance, shoes worn at all times, micromanaging, bad grammar, ALL CAPS, one size fits all, typos…
© 2004 Yahoo! Inc.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998. The company has more than 10,500 employees worldwide.
Excerpts from Google Code of Conduct
Our informal corporate motto is “Don’t be evil.”
The core message is simple: Being Googlers means striving toward the highest possible standard of ethical business conduct. …our most important asset by far is our reputation as a company that warrants our users’ faith and trust. …every Googler is expected to do his or her utmost to promote a respectful workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and discrimination of any kind.
Our Dog Policy
Google’s respect and affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We have nothing against cats, per se, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our campus would be fairly stressed out.
©2007 Google

Of course, anyone can write wonderful value statements, and they do.
Yahoo! and Google have multitudes of people who want to work for them. Google's hiring process is grueling and extensive. Newsweek Dec. 2, 2005: "Virtually every person who interviews at Google talks to at least half-a-dozen interviewers, drawn from both management and potential colleagues. Everyone's opinion counts.." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10296177/site/newsweek/
(Very interesting article. I recommend you read it.)

Their workforces expect civility. Their values and codes are written in the language of the people, easily accessible. Google's code is more than nine screens long. "Employees who are found to have violated this Code are subject to discipline up to and including immediate discharge."

You can google...and find people who were not impressed with the hiring process, people who think they'd not want to work at Google.

I am impressed that they value people who work well with others to learn, to solve problems for the good of the company. There's some humility. There's democracy. Definitely esprit de corps. Isn't this a circle? People want to work for them because it's a good company. It's a good company because only people who live the values are hired and survive.

“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”
-- Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google (1973- )

Blogs by Google employees, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/happy-v-dayfido.html
Yahoo! Blogs, http://yodel.yahoo.com/


I share most of the values from Yahoo...however, I value decaf. I choose to get my caffeine through other means...hmmm...chocolate perhaps.

I would like to work at Yahoo, because I want to learn how to yodel!

Teamwork: We treat one another with respect and communicate openly.

That's the hard one - how many times do we re-learn it in our personal and professional lives? There are so many instances in which we unnecessarily guard information, making more problems than just being open would create - and being ready to explain our thought process, rather than worrying about "defending" it.

Lynette - what is the intersection between civility and ethics?

Forni, cofounder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project, says "Civility belongs in the realm of ethics." In the second chapter of his book, 'Choosing Civility', he struggles (my verb) to define civility. He makes four points, the ethics one being one of those. The other points are
Civility is complex.
Civility is good.
Whatever civility might be, it has to do with courtesy, politeness, and good manners.

Gonthier in her book 'Rude Awakenings' places ethics as a 'property' of civility.

You are challenging me to think about this and study it more.

My personal thinking. You could be ethical but uncivil (obnoxious, uncouth but quite honest). Can you be civil but unethical? I don't think so.

Thanks for sharing this Lynette. I just saw a program on TV about Google being the number one choice of places to work. I love their "out of the box" way of working with their employees. Work time is a huge chunk of your life...there should be some fun involved in it :)

only just checked back to see your reply on civility and ethics - I am still pondering... and running test cases about being civil and unethical at the same moment. I think the "rub" for me is where the boundaries of ethics lie - ex: Is it always unethical to lie? What about lies of omission? If a dear friend will gain no personal insight from knowing someone has vile things to say about her, do I breach the ethical bounds by avoiding disclosure if she asks if I know what that person thinks of her?