The Importance of Being Happy
It may seem somewhat strange writing about the importance of being happy at such an early stage in our corporate development: but experience has taught me that having the right corporate culture, leading to the alignment of core values and making everyone happy, starts from day one.
By protecting your culture, you protect your brand
If you get the culture right, everything else such as building a great customer service reputation, customer satisfaction and an enduring brand will follow in its footsteps.
At 18, I volunteered along with over 200 other hopefuls to join a special forces unit and by the end of an unremitting, merciless selection process, a dozen of us had made it through.
This made for a rather extreme induction to the importance of “cultural fit”: someone may have been extremely fit and capable but if they didn’t fit the “mould” they were quickly sent packing. Cultural fit was paramount.
For a rapidly growing company your corporate culture and how you are perceived in the market is everything. Every decision you make should boil down to: how does this affect our culture?
Be true to yourself, identify your core values and translate those core values into your corporate culture. There is no definitive list but ask yourself, “What is it that ultimately makes me happy?” A happy company with a real sense of purpose makes for a great, profitable company (not the other way around).
When I interview people, cultural fit is top of my agenda. I’ve passed on really smart talented people that I knew would make an immediate positive impact to our top and bottom line but wouldn’t be good for the company in the long term.
At Zemit, we have a vision to change the world with our disruptive P2B (peer-to-business) Export-Import (EX-IM) platform. We are introducing a whole new source of international trade finance enabling investors (financial institutions and individuals) to directly connect with exporters and importers of goods.
The Zemit EX-IM platform is a blockchain-based platform utilizing smart contracts which will completely overhaul an antiquated and cumbersome Letter of Credit finance system, and through improved efficiencies open up trade finance to SMEs and individual lenders around the world. Imagine if we could help alleviate global poverty through the liberalization of trade finance to SMEs around the world. According to the World Trade Organisation, the estimated value of unmet demand for trade finance is US$700 billion in developing Asia (alone).
What we want to achieve at Zemit, is a reputation for excellent customer service; we want to gain a reputation from our loyal and repeat, satisfied customers that will spread by word of mouth. This we hope will become our key USP among our key stakeholders.
Because, when you’re in a highly competitive space, our customer service, our culture and our brand become the only competitive advantages that we will retain in the long run. Everything else can and will be imitated.
PS. The title: “The Importance of Being Happy” pays homage to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and if you’ve reached this far, I highly recommend you read his book: ‘Delivering Happiness, a path to profits, passion and purpose’.
The Author is Jonathan Charles, CMO Zemit