“I think the problems that we're going to face in the new century are far beyond the wisdom of Solomon, let alone me. But I think the right place to start is to say - fair is fair. This is who we are."
The West Wing, Mr Willis of Ohio
1. Honest and open relationships
This is the most important pillar on which Voulez is built. And effective communication and authenticity is a key tool for building such relationships. Relationships within Voulez, with our portfolio companies, with our investors and with all other stakeholders. For us, this is critical for creating transparency, accountability and trust. It is part of treating others as one wants to be treated. It is about valuing each person as an individual and not by their current circumstances or where they come from. It is about being authentic, true to who we are, in everything we do.
2. Doing more with less
Effective use of resources means that we focus on creative solutions rather than merely throwing money at the problem. That is not to say that we do not spend the money when it is needed. We do. But while striving to find the most effective solutions, we end up improving processes and coming up with out of the box answers.
3. Being humble
This value is about quiet confidence and self assurance, while remaining open to ideas and knowledge coming from others. It means we avoid brashness and arrogance and have deep respect for others, even if we disagree with them.
4. Flexibility and tenaciousness
This value is about how we achieve our goals and overcome challenges. It is about perseverance but not stubbornness. If one avenue does not work, we try another. It is also about the ability to separate what is truly important (and hence where we need to stand firm) and what is trivial (so that we can compromise or find an alternative route).
5. Fun and quirkiness
We are serious about what we do and what we are trying to achieve, but we also enjoy spending time with each other and accept each other for who and what we are. A little quirkiness and unconventionality only add to the rich tapestry of our team and to all our other relationships. It makes it interesting and fun to work together and to play together.
6. Gaining something and losing something every day
We are borrowing this one from a zen proverb. We are all about improvement and growth, personally and for Voulez itself. So gaining is about a thirst for knowledge, an attitude of ‘if I don’t know, I will figure it out’. It is also about sharing and collaboration to make sure our companies get the very best chance of success. Losing something is about losing things that are holding us back, like ego, fears, stereotypes, assumptions, distractions. If we all make a conscious effort to do this just a little bit every day, imagine what would happen after a month, or a year. Suddenly changing the world around us does not seem so daunting.
7. Embracing and driving change
Change is inevitable, powerful and inescapable. It is also a great source of opportunities. And it is fun. So we might as well not only embrace it, but also help drive it. We are not talking about change just for the sake of it, we are talking about things that genuinely lead to improvements, innovation and a more effective way of doing something. If it’s broken, figure out why and a way to fix it and go fix it.