Playground's 9 Founding Principles

February 6, 2019

Insight

I first got interested in the idea of developing principles for my company after hearing about Nike’s 11 Maxims in a podcast episode of Business Wars.

I was hesitant to implement this at first. After all, we’re a new company and we’re a small team, so would people even care?

After a while of this, I stopped the questioning and reasoned with myself that the only way to find out is to try.

The week before, the team and I had engaged in an intense strategy session where we discussed our plan for the new year. During that discussion, we talked about our values as a company.

I gave myself a week to think about the culture I wanted to create at Playground and I kept a list of words and phrases on my phone.

In such an early stage of a company, for people to buy into these principles, I wanted them to feel that this also came from them.

Pulling from our list of values, strengths, and interests I pondered, added, and removed phrases that would become the guiding principles of the company.

This list was made with the intent that it would be relevant for a 2-person team or a 200-person team. No matter the roles of the members, the principles would remain applicable and guide all of our actions.

Here they are, the 9 Playground Principles:

  1. Teach and accept to be taught. Share what you know with others. Listen to alternate perspectives and new findings.
  2. Be the example. Actions speak louder than words.
  3. Customer service is everyone’s job. It pays to be courteous, in dollars and emotions.
  4. Dare to take chances. No one has ever made an impact staying in the safe zone.
  5. Stay curious. Seek to understand the root of things.
  6. Be honest. Be respectful, but speak your mind.
  7. Adapt, adjust, and move forward. Mistakes will happen, unexpected events will arise, and life keeps going.
  8. The client is a partner. We’re invested in each other’s success.
  9. Think like a detective. Information can get jumbled for various reasons. Discover the cause and propose a solution.

I believe that this list encompasses how we should act internally and with the community. It gives a sense of purpose and tells others interested in joining us or working with us that this is what we aim to do every day.