Introducing The 5 Mass Relevance Values

Early in my career I was in a startup where middle management (me and others) wanted to assert ‘better’ values for our company. But really, it was too late. Leadership was in place and the most prominent executives dictated our values by their behavior.

Based on this experience, I came to the conclusion that what drives consistent and sustaining values (and culture) is based on the character of the leadership and people you hire. It’s not what you say. It’s who you are.

Therefore, the initial hires (and executives) for a company are critical, and thus the founders should continue to interview early hires for as long as possible. In the case of the aforementioned startup, this principle was not applied and I did not see myself in their unstated values.

At Mass Relevance we take culture seriously. So seriously, in fact, we don’t really talk about “culture” per se, but we hire well and explicitly drive policy and programs that reinforce the reality of our culture.

While the three founders (Brian, Eric and me) talked about our values early on, we didn’t formalize words. But looking back it feels great knowing that we were all on the same page.

After two years, it was time to explicitly state our values. I think it’s a best practice to wait a period of time before a company solidifies values. It was important to do this once we had our entire leadership team in place (not just founders), so we all sync on the truth of what it’s like to work here; so as we grow, new hires know what it’s like to work here, and these values serve as a touchstone.

I’m pleased to say not only do these values reflect much of what we talked about early on, but are reinforced by the entire leadership team AND our employees. Recently, we surveyed the entire team and asked for the words and stories that actually describe what it’s like to work at Mass Relevance. Not what we WANT it to be like… but what it is. Who we are.

Based on that feedback, the values here are a reflective collection of our collective characteristics, convictions and behaviors. If Yoda were here he may say…there is no do, only be…there is no ‘try to be’.

We’re proud to announce the Mass Relevance values publicly, almost two years after founding the company. If you see yourself in these, check out our jobs page!

Sam Decker's picture

Sam Decker

@samdecker
Sam Decker is a current member of the Spredfast board. Sam most recently served as the CEO and co-founder of Mass Relevance (now Spredfast). Prior to Mass Relevance, Sam was founding Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice, a provider of SaaS social commerce technologies serving over 1,000 brands, where he was responsible for building the company’s brand, products and platform.