As we’re gearing up for 2017, the team and I have taken a moment to refresh our core values, which is what we internally refer to as the Punch DNA.

Culture is one of those leadership tenets that’s often talked and written about, but in practice is extremely hard to define. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s ever possible to fully capture the essence of a culture in a few words, because it’s something that transcends purpose. Our culture is unmistakeably apparent whether we’re sharing the tea-making duties, working late together on a challenging project, or celebrating on team nights out.

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What’s also interesting to me is that our culture is synonymous with my personal values. Whilst this list is crowdsourced from all parts of the business, what we’ve arrived at sounds very much like the kind of place that I’d want to work at, if I were choosing a business based on its culture.

So, although this list has only ever been internal – until now – given this is authentic, not aspirational, it occurred to me that there’s no problem with sharing these values as something we’re proud of:

Be Proactive – in owning tasks and ideas, always thinking ahead of the game
Innovate – embrace change and thrive on the cutting edge
Deliver – great work for all our clients, large and small
Be efficient – with time and processes, to create a smart, seamless workflow
Support – our health, minds and each other
Open Up – because we value transparency

Of course, this is a work in progress; the list and its details will evolve. One always wonders what we’ve left out – but I’ve come to the conclusion that rather than prevaricating and avoiding the question in case the answer isn’t quite perfect, it’s better to stand for something.