Before working at Blue Raven Solar, I took very little notice to any mission statement at all. Sure, I knew they existed, but that was about it. I can imagine many higher minds than mine were rapt by the nicest ones, and cringed at others, but I think most of the time the statements sit somewhere in the middle, coming off as average attempts to sound noble.
So, when our then COO (now President) Ben Peterson asked a team of us at work to determine our mission and values, the biggest challenge we saw immediately was making it MATTER. How do we show what we actually value? And it was hard, there was a lot of discussion and plenty of disagreement. But in the end, we came up with what we truly do at Blue Raven Solar, and how we do attempt to do it.
Here are our mission and values and why they matter to us.
Our mission is to make homeowners’ lives better by reducing their energy bills, by increasing their reliance on clean and abundant renewable energy, and by providing a world class customer experience through a reliable sales process and a speedy, high-quality installation.
At Blue Raven, this is what we do. We save you money, we provide renewable energy, and we give you an amazing customer experience.
We aren’t unique in caring about these things. BUT we are unique in how we do it… and because of our values, we do it better. That’s why our values matter so much to us. We find the best way for our team and for our customers to accomplish our mission every day.
OUR VALUES are the things we do to accomplish our mission. We strive to develop a high-trust culture, be efficient, and continuously improve. In order to do these three things, we have to live our values.
1 Develop a High-Trust Culture
A. Keep commitments to homeowners, sales reps, employees, installers, technicians, vendors & investors
B. Close the loop—report back to each other
C. Respect and empower one another
D. Disagree constructively
2 Be Efficient
A. Produce results that are worth more than they cost to deliver
B. Obsessively reduce cycle times in every area
C. Keep the sales experience simple (even if it means adding complexity elsewhere)
D. Stay lean—eliminate unnecessary costs (even through periods of rapid growth)
3 Continuously Improve
A. Gather data to make decisions
B. Follow the Blue Raven six-step problem solving approach
C. Try new things and fail quickly
D. Be go-getters
At Blue Raven Solar, when new team members are hired, they meet with our president to learn about our values and what they mean to us. We integrate the language into our company vernacular. Including the values in our communication has become commonplace, and it keeps us all accountable.
We point out when others are living the values, and little by little it has become our company culture. We nominate team members that are living the values each period.
We have open conversations about trust show our weaknesses. We talk about the health of our organization, and what we lack. We are vulnerable.
Have you ever just felt like you work somewhere where things aren’t perfect, but everyone was trying? That’s what it’s like to be at Blue Raven Solar. That’s the best part. The stress is real. The frustration and problems are even more real. But everyone is working hard to make it better. That is what our mission and values do for us.