Saturday, March 22, 2008


The four entries below this entry are a related series of entries about values. These four entries are best read from the bottom up, i.e., in this order:

Two Greek Maxims

These entries are intended to start a discussion about values. Please feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment.

UPDATE 8/26/08: Added a fourth value: Relationships. The order is: integrity, relationships, competence, entrepreneurship.


Anonymous said...

I think that there is another value we should add - Communication. Both within the organization and with our customers.

Most times we are very good at communicating with our customers. Those same skills we use with our customers should also be used within the branches and between the branches. Sharing of information, ideas and best practices are important aspects of being the best that we can be.

George Putnam said...

Good point. The purpose of this blog is to improve communication--with employees, customers and anyone else interested in Yankee Farm Credit. Not all kinds of communication are appropriate for the blog. Face time, the phone, e-mail, memos, manuals, Financial Partner magazine, etc., etc., are all still important, and we need to continually work on improving our use of them. But many kinds of communication are appropriate for the blog. For example, a blog is an excellent way to conduct a group discussion. Thank you for participating.

Pam Simek said...

I agree with Anonymous - good value. I think that for the most part, we do communicate well between the branches, but we can always improve. I wonder if anybody has additional ideas or suggestions on how we can do this.

I know that sometimes you may have an thought, or suggestion and probably say to yourself "Oh, everybody knows about that already". But I'm finding that isn't always the truth. People really shouldn't be hesitant to share - as George said, either in an email, via the phone, or on this blog. We all have areas of knowledge and experience where somebody else may benefit. The funny thing is - you may not know who that person will be!

George Putnam said...

Pam, I am adding a fourth value to the list, based in part on what you and Anonymous said here. The word “communication” didn’t quite do it for me, but the concept you are getting at is indeed what my original list of three values was missing.

It has always been part of our culture to be a relationship lender. What was missing from my original list was the importance of relationships—working together, teamwork, caring for each other as human beings. Both within the organization and with our customers.

Communication is part of maintaining relationships. I think that is what you were getting at. Sorry it took me so long to figure this out. If I had been a woman, I would have figured it out much faster!

I’m adding “relationships” as a fourth value to the list. Where do you think it should go on the list? I think integrity stays at #1, and entrepreneurship moves to #4. But relationships and competence are nearly equal in my mind, and I’m not sure which to put at #2 and which at #3. Any preference?

I’ll post an entry or two explaining the addition of “relationships” to our list of values soon. Gotta finish those posts about the farm tour first, in the spare moments that I find to blog.

Pam, thank you for your valuable contribution to our discussion about values. This is good communication.

Pam Simek said...

George - first, I focused on one line in your last reply. The one that reads "If I had been a woman...." Liked the admission :-)You may find me reminding you of that in the future.

I think that you put the right word on what I was thinking, but couldn't articulate. The skill of building, and maintaining, relationships is one that everybody in the Association exhibits, whether those relationships are with other employees or our customers. Our relationships with our customers is what sets us apart from our competition, and is the basis for who we are as an Association. Our relationships with each other is equally important because we spend a good portion (almost 35%) of our waking time with each other.

My preference for the order of the 4 values would be to see relationships in the #2 spot. I think you can train for competence, but being able to build relationships is not something you can easily learn. A very wise person once told me "hire for attitude, train for aptitude" and that has really stuck with me.

Lisa Wener said...

I agree with Pam. Relationships fit in the #2 spot for me as well. I think relationships are very important in every aspect of our lives. Just like integrity.

Thank you, George, for adding it as a value. For me, the list of values now feels complete.

George Putnam said...

Lisa, thank you for your comment. And thank you for mentioning relationships and integrity together. That is exactly in line with our marketing slogan: People you know, people you trust. That pretty much describes our culture, doesn’t it?