Values

“Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
― Gandhi

Netcentric Campaigns culture, staff, and Board operations are rooted in five core values summarized as Supportive, Professional, Innovative, Cheerful, and Empathetic (SPICE). These values shape our work, they guide our prioritization of actions and our projects. The values give tone to the ways we work in pursuit of our mission. 

This is part of a series of pages  focused on communicating the core values of Netcentric Campaigns (Supportive Professional | Innovative | Cheerful | Empathetic).  To learn more about the role of values at Netcentric Campaigns you can read on,  you can also participate in the online meeting and discussions of our values,  give us ideas about how your expect these values to come to life,  and fill out a survey to provide feedback for the team and our Board so we can continue to improve.

We work building networks.  We approach work in a unique set of ways. We often are pulled into issues that are facing problems that no single organization can solve.  We are working to support network builders and help unleash network effects that can drive social change. In our experiences, the success of work on important issues correlates with the strength of the networks working the issues.  Network success causes success in moving an issue.  Done well, networks create the bonds and ties across movements that open new pathways for innovation, better use of resources, great works, and swarming.   

There are valid reasons everything has become so fractured. People focus on different parts of a problem or paths to solutions.  Different groups have different objectives and opposing values and priorities. The competitive tensions are the strength of network organizing and the Achilles heel.  Seeking inclusion both enable swarming and risks sapping energy and cohesion to the work. Our experience also suggests that approaching this work successfully requires a deft touch. A set of skills to step into these wicked messes and skills to support people attacking the challenges from competing angles.  We have condensed the insights from this particular approach to network building into a few mottos which we find as effective reminders:

  • Be available, be useful, be unnoticed.
  • Nail the details and diplomacy.
  • Keep trying. Never settle. Be adaptive. 
  • Bring a smile and an uplifting spirit.
  • Work with the eyes and ears of others. Create compassion. 

Each motto reflects what we think of as core values.  The values that shape our habits and everything we do. Our values drive our work with fellows, clients, vendors, Board members, and projects. We strive to align current and future operational partners with these values.  We work on these to maintain the culture, direction, course, brand, and conscientious approach in all we do. 

Values Shape Habits

Values shape the way we work. What examples do you see? Reflect on ways our values shape our work.

Discuss

Join us in an upcoming online meeting to talk about the ways you see values shaping your work, movements, or the organization.

What do the values do for us? 

Culture is a reflection or combination of what is valued and the ways things are done.  As we build ad hoc teams, distributed across geography, time and issues, we can only create a culture through a focus on the values we bring to the work, and the process we use.

While the steps to building networks are continually improved, added to, or refined the pure mechanics are not sufficient to repeat in different contexts.  Network building also requires the animating values that breathe vibrancy into networks. Those values become part of the experience of the network and therefore shape outcomes and success. We focus on both the steps of network management and the values needed to make the work successful. The unique combination of these is our culture. The culture shapes not only what we do but how we do it. 

The values inspire us. They strengthen us in times of doubt. They guide us. Working by them brings us joy. Sticking to them makes us reliable. Some of our values are picked because we feel the values fit in the big picture of our work. These values reflect our way of wanting to be in the world. Other values are selected because they are effective.  They are the values demanded by the work. Some values are both. 

Read more about each value on the links above. 

What do we do with such values? 

We talk about them. We align our staff, Board, partners, projects, and teams by them. We gladly offer internal and external discussions focused on them. We celebrate them. We test them. We defend them. We make them part of regular operations and rituals. The values give tone to the ways we work in pursuit of our mission. Our values are apparent in work with fellows, clients, vendors, Board members, projects and each other. It is essential that all current and future operational partners operate in alignment with these values in order to maintain the culture, direction, course, brand, and conscientious approach in all we do.  We are proud of these values. 

We also recognize they are not the only values.  They are not better values than the values that others use in other work.  They are important to us but not suggesting other values should be less important to other people.  They are values that we find to work with our process and approach. They are foundational to the consistency of our brand experience. Our values have been tested and honed by 20 years of experience. We see ourselves as high-energy and creative contributors as we work on social change. We are driven by many of the same passions of those we serve. We also know that our niche and contribution come from bridging people to each other and our values keep us in the right lane for supporting networks and network builders.

Values Influence our Partners, Fellows, Vendors, Staff, and Board Selections.

  • We are explicit and share them on our website to find people and partners that are compelled by them too. 
  • We review them during introduction and orientation work. 
  • We offer insight into the values to help people sort out if it is the right fit for them to work with us. 
  • We look for clues that people we work with have them and ask about them in the interview process.
  • We treat people we work with them by our values through the entire process. 

Values Influence our work.

  • We take work that fits with them (if we can't be empathetic or cheerful we can't do the work).
  • We propose interventions that are consistent with them. 
  • We coach on the ways they play out and why they are important. 
  • We talking about them and seek ways people we work with interpret them and expect them to show up internally and externally. 
  • We ask “what do these values mean to the team?”
  • They shape our traditions and rituals. We celebrate them, reward them, and we remember when they change our work, and how they affect our practice. 

Bring them to Life

Please review the discussions of the values and spend a few minutes on each thinking about these values and how you would expect to see them unfold in relationships with partners or coworkers.  Share your reflections here.  We share the ideas and feedback with the team and review some submitted comments during our online discussions of the values.