Practical insights for compliance and ethics professionals and commentary on the intersection of compliance and culture.

TravelBird and setting the standard for corporate cultural values

One of the undeniable effects of the trends of globalization and increased demand for customization and specialization that have occurred in both the retail and service industries is that competition is keener than ever. In today’s crowded marketplace, organizations must get creative to set themselves apart and appeal to consumers. From a compliance perspective, of course, the most practical and sustainable way for an organization to do this is to be loud and proud about its integrity and values-based approach to business.

TravelBird, an Amsterdam-based travel agency which operates in 11 European markets, has embraced a disruptive business model and is determined about changing the way customers plan and book their vacations into a holistic experience. Founded in 2010, TravelBird refers to itself as a “scale-up,” a start-up with a strategy of cultivated and plotted growth. Its customer service ambitions are matched by its desire to create a vibrant employee experience and to have a corporate profile which is inspiring and consistent with the image it wishes to project publicly.

Towards accomplishing this goal, TravelBird has recently announced its “cultural values,” a novel spin on the corporate mission statement or business principles. These values as stated by the company are strikingly balanced and represent a thoughtful evaluation of the organizational and employee traits which embody the best alignment with a successful, sustainable business philosophy:

  • Adventurous but Responsible – Take measured business risks, even as leaps of faith, and go boldly into new product and service areas as the customer experience may demand the organization to do so. However, do this with respect for foundations such as legal and regulatory frameworks and the ethical and moral considerations that may be implied. This is the ultimate principle of sustainability that emerging enterprises, especially companies with a basis in technology, forget to make room for in their organizations. An organization which approaches its growth with this orientation is culturally better prepared to offensively weather future storms than one that defensively considers problems for the first time as they occurring.
  • Passionate but Practical – Creative and sales may drive the bottom-line survival, but compliance and other control functions inform the staying power. Design strategic choices and decision-making at the company so that it is consistent with an ambitious business profile and speaks to the passions and excitements of the employees and customers, but don’t forget to do things right from the start.
  • Candid but Compassionate – Honesty is the best policy, but it doesn’t have to be brutal or at the expense of a mature relationship-based way of doing business. Commercial relationships can be very remote and it’s easy to forget there are people on both sides of every interaction. It is important to treat each other with integrity but to also have a high standard for performance and behavior.

Customers and employees alike are highly motivated by companies that model admirable cultural conduct. Blending corporate ambition and conscience, strategy and cultural responsibility, is a powerful approach to growing and cultivating a business. Companies looking to develop directed corporate cultures should aspire to lead with this kind of message and engage in these values authentically and continually.

For TravelBird’s announcement on their cultural values: check out their LinkedIn.