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© S. Sychev, TRIZ-RI Group

Version 1.03


There is a popular phrase: "All families are happy in their own way and yet unhappy…". Or maybe not. It seems that it should sound, on the contrary: "All families are unhappy in their own way and yet happy…"

However, in a business publication we have nothing to say in solving family problems. And what actually concerns business, then the given phrase should be reformulated as such: "In all unsuccessful companies, people think that they are unhappy in their own way. In all successful ones…" Feel free to finish the sentence.

The author of this material, has for the last 10 years been professionally engaged in PR-consulting in the field of management, has had experience in setting up and implementing company standards in various organizations. This experience proves that: the amount of chronic recurring problems from company to company (independent of the type of activity, turnover, share capital etc.) is "the same" and tends towards a constant value.

This gave rise to the opportunity to write down some core company standards for any company.

After reading this material, please replace underlined examples with your own, and, maybe, You will get core company standards for Your Firm.


…We accept constitution for reasonable and strong ones, and not for the weak and drunk ones.
Stolypin P. A.

Different instructions, checklists, company standards (in different "cultural groups" they are called differently) historically are formed as "antivirus" on typical "bloopers" and uncertainty. Thus, like in the army saying: "The statutes are written with blood!"

Let’s begin with some "revelations", which at first (quick) glance, may even seem angry, but on the second (critical) - not meaningless, and the third, attentive - it is pretty reasonable.

FIRST REVELATION

During socialism, in one "scientific" work it was written that: "The main function, purpose and meaning of existence of the socialist enterprise - is meeting the needs of its employees".

The Company "ANY" – is not a socialist enterprise. The main function, aim and purpose of the existence of Company "ANY" is not meeting the needs of their employees.

It might (but only on first glance) seem hurting, but that is the way it is. "ANY" – is not a company of egoists. It cares about itself only in the end. First of all it cares for the -Clients.

But when starting to work in a company, You become part of it, don’t you? Consequently, the thought of self-favorite is to be left for later. This is not to be tolerated, it should be understood and then… find pleasure in understanding.

SECOND REVELATION

On starting to work in company "ANY", You lose much free time during the day. A loaded workweek and weekend duty await You. If ever You become an executive in this company, then most certainly, You have to forget about a normal working day or … and thus increase your productivity, to lay in it. And this is not easy.

Of course, if You do not want to get back your free time, the Company will provide You with compensation in the form of payment, worthy of you. The last three words is good to read once again. They have a meaning.

THIRD REVELATION

If company "ANY" is in debt to anyone, then it is only in the form of products (services) to its Clients. Yes and in turn they get money. This "cynical" last sentence, even the Head of "ANY" reads it with tears in his eyes. But despite the tears and the fact that there are poor people in the town and country, he does not order a free service rendering (free trade). And deep inside their souls, in "ANY" everyone is thankful to him for that.

If You expect more than what was promised to you earlier, then You should propose much more than what was expected of you. But if you do not fulfill what you promised, then arguments about how poor you are will not be considered.

FOURTH REVELATION

Maybe you will have to face some limits. Sometimes it is the lack of isolated workplace or its uncomfortable position, sometimes – lack of computers. This is not done intentionally, and these situations are not constant. The company keeps growing.

In the company are valued personalities who can reach high goals despite possible hurdles and temporary inconveniences. The company will always appreciate your desire to become one with it.

Excuses such as: "When I will have a computer…", "When I will have my own workplace…", "When I will have more time…" – will not be tolerated by the company.

Where do all these revelations come from?

Just like, there is no magical pill for all diseases (apart from arsenic…), In the same way there is no comprehensive and (for all occasions) job description (rules, procedures or method "to share properly and assess").

Life, fortunately, is more complicated, and more than once you will have to make a decision through uncertainty. More than once you will be in a situation when You will have to do an action and fulfill a function, which is not written in the guidelines. The company expects you to take action in such a situation and not refer to instructions instead. The company will always appreciate it. In order for it to be easier for You to take decisions in conditions of uncertainty, follow the simple rules listed below. Everyone in our company follows them, they are the base of our company’s culture and hence are called our company’s standards.

The company standards on their side follow the mission of the company, and that is why, any action in favor of the mission is considered as good.

If you read the company standards attentively, then you might see that: each one of them, in one way or another, tend towards 4 simple principles:

  • Principle I. Everything simplified is good. (Of course without harm done to quality.) Thus, it is one thing to "save a file", but another to "save a file in such a way that a colleague might find it". If You simplify (the work of the colleague, the sales for the Client etc.) – You are right.
  • Principle II. If while solving difficult situations, You calmly follow the procedures and company standards, and not your emotions and resentment – You are right.
  • Principle III. If what You do protects the company – You are right.
  • Principle IY. If You do more than expected of you – You are right.

Next is a first-person display, and, if You agree with it, you should sign it, but if You do not agree with it – give a reasonable improvement or leave the company.

COMPANY STANDARD 1

I consider it indecent to complicate a work. I do everything possible to make the job of my colleague simple.

I do everything to make any function more technological and plausible. I am well aware that intentional complication of well-known and simple functions (talking on the phone, preparing the plan of personal work etc.) will cause my colleague a feeling of psychological discomfort and suspicion. And this is not bearable.

In a situation of uncertainty, I take a decision in favor of simplifying my colleagues work to its maximum.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 2

I shall try to make my job transferable and the result of the work reproducible in my absence. If this does not happen, then it means that the work has been done poorly. Or the job is not yet finished.

In a situation of uncertainty, I shall take such a decision which makes it possible to reproduce the result in my absence.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 3

At the same time I agree that non-qualitative filing of documents by me (contracts, applications, acts etc.) should not be signed…

I expect that my colleagues shall share the same point of view.

COMPANY STANDARD 4

I am well aware that any task associated with the Client is done "on the agreed day". If it is not possible, I shall call the Client and inform him that he has not been forgotten.

I am sure that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 5

Similarly, I am well aware that any information should be entered in the database of the company on the same day the information was received, and any delay in entering it is not acceptable. I know that a delay to enter any information into the database by one day is considered as lateness, but by two days is concealment.

I shall take all the necessary measures to fulfill this standard and expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 6

When I work in a team, I understand that, for example, 10-00 = 10-00, and not 10-15 and not 11-00. I understand that a general agreement organizes not only my time but also that of my colleagues a breach of the agreement on my side disorganizes not only me but also my colleagues who are innocent. In a case of overlays, I shall always call and warn my colleagues early.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 7

I always plan my work and coordinate my plans with my colleagues. And I always schedule and announce intermediate results of my work in advance. I always show intermediate results in scheduled terms.

I am well aware that plans of current works are submitted daily. I also know that the last deadline to submit a weekly plan is - Friday, at 17-00. I know that I can be fined for the violation of this term.

I know that the time between two results on my long-term work should not exceed two months. I shall prepare information about these two results as a performance (a report message), understandable for my colleagues, and / or as an article for a scientific publication.

COMPANY STANDARD 8

I shall not miss any briefing, which are meant for the sharing of information and coordination of plans. I am well aware that briefings are on a weekly basis. And not less than once a month there is a "big briefing", to discuss the work with Clients.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 9

For the sake of the Client who is not in his office during office hours, I shall inform him about my position every hour.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 10

I am well aware what simulation of activities is. It is when instead of doing what I SHOULD do, I do what I want to do. Or instead of doing what is needed, I do something else which is psychologically more convenient and lazy.

For example:

  • Instead of discussing with a Client, I drag a box for the thousandth first time;
  • Instead of developing information systems, I tell about the advantages / disadvantages of other systems;
  • Instead of developing a hard project, I "am chattering with partners",
  • Instead of writing an article, I just format it,
  • Instead of calling Clients … I fill in documents… etc.

I am well aware that it is called "second level laziness".

I distinguish activity from simulation. In case of uncertainty, I shall not incline away from really productive work. I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 11

I am well aware that answering "I’ll try" to the question "Will it be done or not?" is not decent. I shall never answer as such. To such a question, I shall reply with either "Yes" or "No". I also know that the following sentences are not allowed to be used and consequently I don’t use them:

  • "I’m hearing it for the first time".
  • "I called but could not get through".
  • "I came but You (he, she, they... ) were not there".
  • "I looked for it but could not find it".
  • "I thought that...".
  • "My colleagues (Clients, the administration, wrong/the absence of documents, government organs etc.) are to be blamed".
  • "It was long before (me, then...)".
  • "I said that (warned, did...)".
  • "Nobody told me".
  • "Why me?".
  • "I did not hear".
  • "I do not know".
  • "I was not given".
  • "I thought it best".
  • "I wanted to but it did not work out".
  • "I wanted to call but I did not have a telephone, money for the telephone calls".
  • "I told him/her, but he (she) did not do it".
  • "I was not there then, I guess, I was sick (was on a leave, drunk etc.)".

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 12

I don’t consider it decent to discuss, conceal problems, or discuss them on the sly (also with my colleagues), and not tell them out aloud.

It is impossible to solve all the problems but any one of them can be converted into a task – a source of new ideas.

Hence, I shall work on the principle: problem - discussion - task - solution. I am well aware that any other way to solve a problem will, independent of my wish, develop into gossips. That is why I consider it not decent in regards to my colleagues to act differently.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 13

I know the rule: "Hints are not understood". If there is a problem, then I follow standard 12. If I hear a hint, I shall clearly say: "Hints are not understood".

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 14

In the same way, I shall not feel shy to openly discuss salary problems. However, I am well aware that in the company there are normal work procedures which I follow. If I follow the procedures, then it is guaranteed that my request will be considered. My proposals to improve the system of remuneration shall be considered first. Other ways to submit information about salaries are not acceptable. I am aware that the reply to my request and/or proposal can be a consent or a refusal. And in case I get a reasoned refusal, I shall not be offended.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 15

I will never say anything bad about my company to outsiders, without prior discussion of the problem with the management.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 16

I know three dangers lurking around each person: envy, jealousy and laziness. In order to protect myself from them, I constantly communicate with my colleagues, work with them and feel responsible in the event that I fail them. I am open to dialogue and regularly share my results.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 17

I never get offended over anything and furthermore, never look for a reason to offend. I am well aware that trying to offend is a usual intrigue. I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 18

I know the rule: "You are allowed to suffer". It means that nobody will feel sorry for me for nothing. However, I am also aware that in a really difficult situation my colleagues shall help me.

COMPANY STANDARD 19

Before making any claim to anyone, I shall first ask myself three control questions:

a) what is the REAL reason of the claim-problem?
b) what did I not do MYSELF to solve the problems?
c) what is really and who has to do something to solve the problem?

Then I write down the answers and leave them for two days. Before telling anyone else I read it again and in section "а". If the claim does not dissolve, I do everything in my power, in section "b"; if the claim still does not dissolve, I rewrite and section "c" write down in the form of a list of tasks and proposals for solution and an understandable plan to follow.

I know that sometimes there is no another way to complain in a company and I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 20

I know that if there is a controversial situation associated with reward from attracting clients (for example, when several people are nominated for awarding), the management reserves the right to give two days to the disputing parties to find an agreement. A decision shall be made according to this agreement. If no agreement is met, then nobody shall be awarded.

In other words, I respect the principle: "It is more profitable to find an agreement than arguing without end."

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 21

The best I can do for the company in a difficult situation is to help without later reproaching. The best I can do in a difficult situation is to ask for help from my colleagues and avoid reproaching for a refusal and avenging for a consent.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 22

I know that any contact with the outside world is advertising for the company. Everyone is responsible for advertising and PR and not only our under-staffed advertising department. Keeping this as a reminder, I shall try to make any actual and potential Client a free advertising agent. And I shall not forget to submit the ready-made material for this and tell about the company legends (stories).

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 23

I am well aware that the company invests seriously in education and in acquiring and implementing of new methods and technologies. That is why I shall learn and use the methods and techniques transferred to me. Furthermore, I try to make my own to later transfer my experience to my colleagues. I understand that I should discuss with the client technologically. Hence, I shall use ready-made for me voice modules (for phone calls, to answer complex questions, etc.) that increase the likelihood of the transaction.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 24

I boldly take up my new and unfamiliar to me business and not afraid to appear weak and incompetent. I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 25

In case a conflictual Client appears in the company, I shall (independent of my position) take him away from the discussion zone with other Clients, using the phrase: “Let’s go, I am ready to help you Sir". Then, after conducting him to another room, I shall solve with him all problems according to the methods I have been taught.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 26

I understand that I do not have the authority to participate in business transactions which are not in my field of work and competence, irrelevant on with whom it is happening (including acquaintances), without prior informing my manager about it. The word "prior" in this standard is a keyword! If I get a proposal from outside and I do not have the opportunity to prior inform about this contact on the spot, I shall inform about this proposal on the same day it was received.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 27

While interacting with business partners, I shall always act in the advantage of a company "ANY". I shall protect the sphere of interests of the company and do everything possible so that In relation to contractors, there shall not be any unreasonable rise in costs of work and drops in quality. In a case of uncertainty, I shall take such a decision which in any way protects the interests of "ANY".

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 28

In the case of a proposal to me personally for commission from any organization or individual, I shall simply politely stop the relevant negotiations and report this proposal to my supervisor. Thus, the responsibility for further contact with this organization and / or individual is passed to me by the management, which has the authority to take appropriate action.

If I learn that this standard is not followed by my subordinate, I shall take the necessary actions to dismiss the concerned subordinate (without explanation).

I know that the management also reserves the right to take such actions against me.

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 29

In case of a visit (telephone call) from any representative of any governmental organization to the office for any reason, I shall at once politely request (transfer the call) the representative to meet the director, I shall not discuss any matter with him and politely reply to any of his questions as such: "Please, ask the director".

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 30

In case any representative from a competitor addresses me, I shall right away conduct him to my director, I shall not discuss any matter with him and politely reply to any of his questions as such: "Please, ask the director ".

I expect that my colleagues shall do the same.

COMPANY STANDARD 31

I know that the company standards listed here can be subjected to changes (canceled, improved, amended...) not more than once a year. And the related changes (explanations) should be prepared in written form by the author.

CONCLUSION

Some of these standards shall be considered as obvious by some, to some they might be unusual, to some excessive, to some insufficient… Probably in a few years our competitors shall copy them. Maybe You shall rewrite them yourself next year. But all this is not important. Something else is.

We know that if the general agreement is followed, then it protects and develops our Business, combines our company into one big family and allows our real families to become richer and us to get pleasure from work. The violation of this general agreement deprives us of it.

"Keep order and order will keep You," – as the Romans said...

Maybe, taking all this into consideration, you will agree that our revelations though strict, was productive. And if so, you should patiently explain them to new colleagues in our team.

And if you are persistent and patient, you are entitled to expect that colleagues will do likewise.

P.S. By the way, and the most important…

COMPANY STANDARD 32

If you ever find a way to violate these standards, without violating them, the company reserves the right to ask You: "Why did you look for such a way?"

The author is thankful to his colleagues I. Vikentyev and A. Kavtreva 
(the “TRIZ-CHANCE” system) for their help in working out these techniques.

And also to the company "Polyplast" (Riga) and the company “Titul” (Rostov-on-Don).

LIST OF ARTICLES ON THE SAME TOPIC

  • Vikentyev I. The hard necessity of a mission for the company.
  • Kavtreva A. That is what we agreed upon. The company standards as part of the corporative culture.
  • Vikentyev I., Kavtreva A. Standards - at the forefront. Company standards to work with the Client.

FROM THE EDITOR
An updated original version of this material will always be found on the Internet at this address and you can always consult it.

We will also be grateful to you for sending us updates and suggestions for improvement.

This material is placed freely and allowed for non-commercial use (eg, scientific, methodological or training purposes). It is necessary to write the link : "Sychev S. Company standards of the company "ANY". Version 1.03, Advertising Dimension, 2000, № 12 (77), http://www.triz-ri.com/eng/?id=8837". And just inform the developers about the fact that the information has been used and send them a copy of the corresponding material.

If such a link and notification will be made, we shall assume that the material is used lawfully and with the consent of the Author.

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Link: "Sychev S. Company standards of the company "ANY". Version 1.03, Advertising Dimension, 2000, № 12 (77), http://www.triz-ri.com/eng/?id=8837" and notify the developers about the fact of use in any case.

Other ways of use of this material will be automatically considered as a violation of the author’s economic and moral copyrights.

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