Observed, Not Created: How (and Why) We Updated Our Core Values


By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

The first version of our company’s core values came out of my head, reflecting how I wanted to conduct business and how I wanted our growing team of employees, contractors and partners to engage – internally and externally.  They lasted longer than I expected, even as we grew and regularly revisited them to ensure they were both relevant and actively discussed, recognized and rewarded throughout the company.

Our values are observed, not created.  They literally come from every employee by the way they already conduct themselves, by the way we have built this company and reinforced what we think is important.

We recently went through an exercise to examine and rebuild our values from the ground up.  What we have now in many ways has a direct lineage to what we have held close for the past 13+ years.  And although some of the language is new, when we launched these internally, they immediately felt comfortable and familiar – because they already are who we are at Heinz Marketing.

Our core values are:

Poised: We are professional and even-keeled under pressure. We bring order and predictability to ever-changing situations, being direct with clients and each other via our best selves.

When I think about what “poised” means in action, it’s the very epitome of professional consulting.  It’s facing head-on the uncertainty and volatility (and sometimes messiness!) of providing bespoke advice with humility, directness, empathy, and transparency.

Driven: We are hungry to learn and grow, focused on solving problems and finding solutions that positively impact clients, careers and lives.

Our work has a direct AND ripple impact.  It generates a paycheck, sure.  It also helps change the direction, impact and satisfaction of lives and careers.  We are doing more than just driving demand, more than just building processes and playbooks. We’re teaching our clients how to be more impactful, revenue-centric marketers.  And our success not only becomes their success, it allows us to do the things in our company and community that drives even greater impact.

Confidence without ego: We are coachable, prioritize transparency and vulnerability, always eager to improve and get better.

The very best athletes and professionals have coaches – formally and informally – to constantly get better and adjust to changing variables around them.

B2B marketing has changed remarkably since I started the company 13 years ago, and it will continue to change and evolve.  We can be confident in our embrace of what working now, unafraid to say “I don’t know” internally and externally, and eager to continue learning.

Committed to others: We make ourselves, our clients, our team, our families and our communities better, stronger, happier and more successful.

I see this all the time inside our company – mentorship commitments, covering for people on PTO, giving advice or time on a project that isn’t formally on someone’s plate, etc.  I also see it rippling outside of the company – through our Heinz Marketing Gives Back charitable programs, care for families and family commitments, even in our Slack channels devoted to continued professional education and celebrating our lives and passions outside of work.

It is also evident daily in how we serve our clients, teaching them to drive revenue responsible impact and, ultimately, work independently of our advice and counsel.

Can-do attitude: We are proactive and constantly evolving, finding the best in people and situations. We see the future as full of opportunity and possibility.

As consultants, we constantly face hard problems that don’t always have an immediate solution. We are literally paid to step up and figure it out.  We also set the stage for solving hard problems with the very presence we bring to that problem.  Our attitude impacts colleagues, clients, even family before, during and after work.

Individually, these values are important but not sufficient.  Together, they help us create, celebrate and sustain an internal culture and external difference in the lives and careers of employees, customers, partners and the broader B2B marketing community.