Reflecting on 35 years of solving problems through brand strategy and design for a wide variety of organizations, I’ve come to realize the extent to which values drive the ethos and the culture of an organization.

I’m reminded of when consulting firm, McKinsey, celebrated their 50th anniversary by interviewing numerous organizations that also celebrated long-term success. They found that companies that exhibit longevity have a fierce customer focus, engage their suppliers/partners in problem solving, challenge legacy thinking, avoid hubris, foster a loyal culture and focus relentlessly on their values.

We at Phinney Bischoff have worked very hard at articulating our own values. (Not so easy to do for yourself. I highly recommend hiring a professional agency—like us—to help.) Doing this work should be challenging as well as galvanizing and rewarding. It should also be something you are proud to share, as I will right now:

Tenants that we live by at Phinney Bischoff:

Do the right thing.
Spark creativity in yourself and in the world.
Check your ego at the door.
Know what you want and have the courage to stand for it.
Let your actions reveal your commitment.
Lead with wonder and empathy.

My wish for each of us as we go forward into 2018: challenge conventional thinking; be the best version of ourselves possible; when we fail, try again; and lastly, but perhaps most importantly, lead with wonder and empathy.