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Why Company Core Values are So Critical

From the CEO

In the early days of our company we had a strong culture. We were driven and focused, and by definition that meant a strong culture. Most of that culture helped us succeed. Some was of no impact. (And there were a couple of things that were counterproductive.)

But then we did something very unusual.

We Added Company Core Values

Our CEO at the time, Shirley Clawson, had the executive team spend 4 hours working out what our core values are. This was a long arduous process with a lot of very intense discussion. We then presented it to the company and incorporated both employee feedback and our own thoughts as we saw it in action.

Windward Company Core Values Poster

Core values are not what we want them to be. And our set of core values doesn’t include every core value that is part of our company culture. (For example, a politically incorrect biting sense of humor is clearly a core value here.)

But core values are values we have and we want to ensure they remain a part of the company. And we have subsequently worked to retain these values.

Why Core Values Matter

I recently heard very strong validation of our efforts here.

Michael Gregorie, the CEO of CA Technologies, recently gave a speech at the Telluride Venture Accelerator Demo Days. It was about the tremendous importance and strength of company culture. He discussed for about a ½ hour not only the competitive advantage of company culture but the necessity of one to be successful.

It was strong validation of the value of the effort we’ve put in to reinforce and keep our company core values. And we’ll continue to keep putting in that effort in the future because it’s paying off for us in a big way.

P.S. We use 7Geese, along with tracking our objectives and key results, to get people to regularly recognize others for embodying our Core Values. It makes this something that everyone pays mind to daily. (I have no connection to 7Geese other than I’m a very happy customer.)

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David Thielen

President/CEO at Windward Studios

From his early years as a Senior Developer at Microsoft, to legendary designer of the popular Enemy Nations strategy game, to reporting and document generation guru, Dave has never lost his passion for building superb software and teams.


For over 10 years Windward has been making software that allows business users and developers to create data-powered documents of all types including: forms, proposals, statements, reports, presentations and more. Windward's novel approach allows users to "tag" elements within standard Microsoft® Office documents to be dynamically replaced with data from common data sources when output. Windward's solutions have become the leading choice for developers adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

Windward's solutions include scalable high-performance output engines written for .NET, Java, and RESTful  applications coupled with design environments that include Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Windward's customers regularly report savings well over 50% in template design and production costs. And, their business users enjoy being empowered to design and edit templates without having to involve development resources. Windward's "drop-in" code libraries allow developers to add best-in-class reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in less time, by orders of magnitude, compared with other platforms or in-house development. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward is dedicated to making reporting and document generation more effective and accessible to business users and developers everywhere.


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