• Norm Couturier

Good corporate decisions start with knowing and living our core values

To be successful in business, it’s not enough to believe in what you’re selling; you’ve got to know what you believe in too.

When Tom Batty and I sat down to start and map out what we wanted with 3D Planeta, a lot of those early conversations revolved around our personal principles and values and how we wanted them reflected in how we conduct our business.

This is why long before we hired our first employee or signed a lease on our office space, we sat down to invest our time in a conversation about values.

Specifically, we set out to identify our core corporate values.

Over a few hours last winter, we engaged in a guided conversation that challenged us to consider not only what we stood for but also how we would live those values in the decisions and choices we would make as we built this technology start-up.

These are our values, which we have listed in order of importance as a decision-making tool for ourselves and for everyone who works at and with 3D Planeta.

  • Safe: We want to provide the greatest amount of benefit with the least amount of harm. We want 3D Planeta’s world-leading 3D fusion imaging technology to help protect people, places and our planet.

  • Community: We believe in the talents and ingenuity of our community and recognize we are stronger when we work together. We create community through our actions with employees, vendors, investors and clients, and we support our home community of Fredericton and New Brunswick through the purchase of local goods and services, and via researcher partnerships with local post-secondary institutions and the hiring of graduates from those institutions.

  • Transparent: We believe business can be a force for good and we will demonstrate this by showing our work, specifically as it relates to our social and environmental performance.

  • Respect: We will work by the adage of the golden rule, to treat our employees, vendors, investors, clients and others with whom we interact, with the respect and empathy we seek in return. This includes making space for a diversity of ideas and perspectives, which enables innovation and creativity to flourish.

For a company to live its values, it isn’t just about projecting goodwill, we realize it also means we may say ‘no’ to some things that might help us meet our financial goals but not align with our core values.

That in and of itself made for an interesting conversation, and one in my opinion more start-up founders need to have with themselves, their investors and their partners.

I’ve spent the past three decades embedded in the start-up world as a serial entrepreneur, an investor, and a startup eco-system builder, and I can honestly say we don’t talk about values enough, if at all.

Little did we know when we set down our core company values that they would be put to work so quickly. About a month after we finalized our values statement the pandemic hit and our well-laid plans for 2020 evaporated. As we set out to develop and execute a new plan, specifically for working with our new employees, and engaging with potential investors, our values statement helped to define and guide our thinking and actions.

I know first-hand what it feels like to run a company that over time becomes misaligned with your personal values and it is a demotivating place to be. I knew when I started 3D Planeta I wanted to do things differently - I am fortunate to have a business partner who shares that belief and a board that fully supports it.