David's post reminded me that when I started Radar Communications, in 1999, I wrote Radar's Incomplete Manifesto to outline the principles on which the company would be founded. After a bit of searching I was able to find the original document.
It's nice to know that what started as a dream, sitting in alone my garage, still rings true after six years and a massive amount of growth, now working globally with over 40 clients as a consumer-centric market research and strategy firm.
Here is the core philosophy that was the spark for Radar :
The Incomplete Radar Manifesto
Radar’s journey begins. As a starting point, below are a set of unstated principles that make up this Manifesto. This Manifesto will evolve as we evolve. This will continue as we learn and become more intimate with the skills necessary to help our clients hear what’s happening in the real world.
- Listen- It all starts here. This is what we do. We help companies listen to real people. Along the way we must also listen to the rhythms of the street, to our customers and to ourselves. We must constantly improve our listening skills. This is an intimate and private conversation. All aspects of our work with our clients should be honored as private conversations.
- Consumers are People - Calling people consumers is not only shortsighted but also narrow minded. People are much more than consumers. They laugh, they cry and they have real lives.
- Make a Profit – From profit comes freedom and from freedom comes creativity, from creativity comes joy. If we achieve our profit goals we will be liberated, giving us a better opportunity to have fun doing what we do.
- Trust – All relationships are based on trust. Trust is the foundation where all creativity comes from. Not only should we trust or reporters and our clients but we must trust ourselves and our own instincts. Again, part of trust is knowing that the privacy of our clients and our reporters is honored.
- Be Honest – Honesty shows our humanity and our ability to understand the issues that we work with. Never bury a problem. Always be honest.
- Embrace Change – Change happens. We can either embrace it and move on or be paralyzed by it. We are only as good as our last project.
- Be Creative – The process is important but creativity is the soul of the process. Constantly look for ways to be creative and bring a new perspective to an issue.
- Follow Your Soul – If you’re not nourishing your soul and feel good about what you are doing then you should not do it. All of our work should expose a glimpse of Radar’s soul.
- Explore Uncharted Territory – Go beyond what you think is possible. Go further, go deeper. Explore those places that scare you. Radar needs to take its clients where they are afraid to go.
- Share Your Passion – Everything that Radar does needs to exude the passion that comes from listening to real people, on the streets. Share this passion with your team members and your clients.
- Be Fearless – Bottom line, this is just work. Nobody’s going to die. What is there to be afraid of?
- Give Back – Radar’s community has given it the base from which to grow and flourish. It is important to give back and share that success not only with the team but also with the community in which Radar lives.
- Be Compassionate – Great listening skills start with compassion. All of us are hear to have fun, do good and get things done. Have compassion for everyone in the Radar family.
- Let Go – Constantly let go of Radar’s current existence. Look forward not backwards.
- Inspire People Around You – If you want to have more fun get the people around you to have more fun. I want to have fun. Do You?
- Understand the Process Intimately – Trust in the process. By knowing it intimately it will evolve. If Radar is to change the world its process must continually evolve.
- Love the Difficulties – Sometimes work is hard. It’s the only time that things really change. Love it, its life.
- Make Mistakes Faster – As we try and learn and do a better job for our clients we need to learn faster. The best way to learn is to make mistakes. So make lots of mistakes, just don’t make the same ones twice.
- Laugh – Laughing cuts the tension, makes life more fun. We all screw up everyday. Who cares? Laugh at it and let it go.
- Organization = Liberty – From being organized and focused gives Radar the liberation to be creative and thoughtful.
- Ask Stupid Questions – From stupid questions comes shifting paradigms. Ask lots of stupid questions. They are fun!
- Everyone is a Leader – Life’s too fast for everyone to wait for someone else to make a decision. Jump in! Try! Lead! Learn!
Have you written your Incomplete Manifesto?