At the core of a business is a body of people striving towards a common goal. This is fundamental. And it also holds that if people are inspired by the goal and the ideals upon which it predicates, the goal can be realized to an even greater extent. In such a case -where people are tied together not solely for financial gains but by a set of values and credos that forms the bedrock of the business. The business transcends itself and effloresces into a brand culture.
And a culture is a more spirited and sentimental thing, with trust, cohesion, and pride.
A telling case is how Ford Motor Company survived through the 2008 financial crisis.
Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Company, in an interview talked about the reason his business never went completely bankrupt.
“I’ll remember this to the day I die. You all will probably remember that during the very dark days of the recession, our two principal American competitors, General Motors and Chrysler, went bankrupt. We didn’t,” said Ford.
“Why didn’t we go bankrupt? Well, you could say we made certain good decisions, but it was our employees. They would not let us.”
It was because of his employees’ amazing sacrifices and commitment that the company refused government bailout money during the 2008 financial crisis.
“Our people were working, Saturdays, Sundays, until 1-2 a.m. in the morning, no extra pay, in fact not even sure they were going to have a job the next morning. In fact, some of them didn’t have jobs the next morning. But they were willing to do whatever it took to pull us through,” he said.
He even he received encouraging personal messages from workers throughout the ordeal. “I got flooded with emails and letters from employees all the way from the plant floor saying, ‘Bill, don’t give up. We can do this. We won’t let you down,’” the chairman said.
A work culture that has loyalty and internal trust is what’s needed to make a successful company. After paying off debts Ford said that it was truly “awesome” to be able to hire most of those people back.
“A company has to be more than just a paycheck. It has to give people something more. That sometimes gets lost in all of this.” Ford said.
What is success can only be determined by the collaborations between individuals. In the case of Ford, a brand culture of mutual success and compassion between one another instilled everyone with the strength to together accomplish extraordinary things.