Written by Ben Peterson, CEO of Blue Raven Solar
At Blue Raven Solar, we have three values:
1. Develop a High-Trust Culture
2. Be Efficient
3. Continuously Improve.
Each value is accompanied by four statements that try to capture what living this value means for us.
Our third value, “Continuously improve,” means four things for us:
3a: Gather data to make decisions
3b: Follow the Blue Raven six-step problem solving approach
3c: Try new things and fail quickly
3d: Be go-getters
Value 3d is our final value and our topic today: Be go-getters.
When I ask our team members what it means to be a “go-getter,” the responses usually center around being proactive and never giving up. Sometimes I hear, “Go the extra mile,” or “Don’t get discouraged – stay positive through adversity!” No doubt – these are all important attributes of go-getters.
In my opinion, the best illustration of what it means to be a go-getter is contained in the aptly titled book, The Go-Getter, by Peter Kyne. Even though the story is nearly 100 years old, it captures the essence of what it means to get a job done – whatever it takes. Every new employee in our corporate office is given a copy! If you haven’t read the book, I’d highly recommend it.
As Blue Raven Solar has scaled from $100K to $100M+ in revenue, we’ve had to overcome the typical seemingly insurmountable obstacles that any startup faces. We’ve also had to face challenges unique to the residential solar industry, whether it’s navigating the ever-changing policies of utility companies, dealing with financially unstable financing partners, or working through the highly volatile global supply and demand for photovoltaic (PV) modules. Even installing one solar project to our standards requires everybody involved to be go-getters in our approach to speed, customer service, and quality.
While there’s not necessarily a hierarchy to our values, it has always felt meaningful that being a go-getter is our last value. It is the last thing we say about our culture – the exclamation point to our secret sauce.
We asked employees how they experience value 3d at Blue Raven Solar. Here is what some of them said:
I really try to push for more than 100% efficiency every day. I have seen my teammates do the same and this encourages me.
I’ve been with this company for almost two years and I’ve seen the ambitions of every person that usually works here grow. Mostly everyone around are go getters and love to be here with the company. It’s inspiring.
I see people going above and beyond their roles. My department coworkers especially embrace this value as they ALL make sure to attack every situation with a positive attitude and exceed expectations in what they are asked to do.
Being a go-getter is spoken with work ethic. Take ownership of something that comes up, whether it be a problem customer, problem install, or work orders. Don’t assume someone else will come behind to correct the problem. Manage what you’re comfortable addressing, then speak to someone else to help resolve the problem.
I feel like everyone just goes so hard to accomplish all of their work throughout the day. I love that people are constantly working hard to keep the company moving.
My team follows up with everyone and every department they need to no matter what in order to find solutions to a problem and to get a customer faster through the process.
Having a crew that is willing to go above and beyond when doing an install. Striving to get an install completed as fast as possible and correct the first time. The willingness to work over the weekends and to pick up the slack of other crews in order to give the customer a great experience. Also treating every customer’s house as their own, not looking at it as a job but as someone’s home. Making sure nothing gets broken and that there will be no issues in the future.
Most employees here exhibit this trait well. The work ethic in general is very proactive. I see a lot of people eager to move up and increase their responsibility.
I have seen many people go above and beyond on what is required of them to get customers through the solar process as quickly as possible.
My manager gets a task and he chases that task until it is resolved. He is scrappy and makes sure each task that is given to him gets done no matter the obstacles.
There are some at Blue Raven who just make it happen. That attitude is what keeps everything moving.
As an organization we shy away from giving prescriptive action items and tend more towards larger objectives. This leaves it up to managers and their teams to go and get it done.
I feel like in every department you have to be a go-getter of some sort. This also ties into our problem-solving skills. In order to problem-solve, you have to be a go getter. You have to be willing to go out there, and get things done.
I see go-getters everywhere I look. People around me are always volunteering to help others and to help answer any questions that others have. It really is amazing to be at a workplace where A.) People seem happy and like they want to be there and B.) Want to succeed and look for ways where they can help others succeed, as well. It feels like entering the Twilight Zone, working here, because everyone is SO helpful and nice that it’s almost…. a little suspicious. I love working here!
We are really good at setting high goals and stretching to achieve them. I think this typifies a go-getter mentality, and I love that we do not get complacent with anything.