Principles: our core values unpacked

Since we believe every Voys colleague is a leader in their role, it’s good to define what our (leadership) principles are. Our principles unpack our values and add self-management to the mix, thus defining and shaping our company culture. Principles aren’t static and change over time as we learn.

We made some nice posters of our core values and principles. You can find them here. If you have any question, please reach out to one of our Online or Offline designers Principles

⚖️ Work as equals

Core value: Equal

Equality is key if we want to be able to live and work together in harmony. Equality is the most deeply rooted core value at Voys. It’s in why we exist, who we are, how we work, and what we do.

We work at Voys to support the purpose of the organization. We are here to support each other and our customers as equals. We develop our technology for and with the customer.

There are very few situations where the ego makes the best decision. So park your ego at the door.

And you can only Work as equals if you Trust by default.

🤝 Trust by default

Core value: Equal

Trust is given by default. To each other, to our customers, and yes sometimes to our gut. For us, “our gut” is our years of experience telling us something is off.

Trust is given to people who have the skill and willingness to learn, who are intrinsically motivated, and who Show Integrity.

✅ Show integrity

Core value: Open

Integrity is key. We are open, honest, and transparent. It makes us trustworthy and great colleagues to work with. Be an example of what you would like to see in others. This also means we Own (sh)it!

💪 Own (sh)it

Core value: Supportive & Evolving

When you work at Voys you have a set of roles that define what you are accountable for. Take that accountability and run with it. Be the owner of the role and take ownership of it. The question “If I was the boss, what would I do?” can really help because you are the boss of your role and you always represent the organization, the purpose, and what we hold true.

We all have the ability to see what needs to be done and you don’t have to wait until somebody tells you what to do.

Where our roles give us clarity, we never hide behind them. We all have the responsibility to do right by ourselves and our customers. You don’t work in an organization; you are the organization. And in such an organization you have to Create transparency.

🪟 Create transparency

Core value: Equal, Open & Supportive

Share updates, progress, prioritizations, and projections on your work. Make sure the information you have and hold it there for others. It allows others to work autonomously and gives your colleagues clarity.

We strive for Autonomy because it facilitates freedom. It also helps with easy decision-making, rapid development, and the liberty to work where and when you want. It removes the dependency on external factors.

Transparency also means that people can follow you on your journey. It facilitates seeing the change and having a Yes and… attitude.

➕ Yes and…

Core value: Evolving

Change is the only certainty we have. It’s also a verb. If we want to be better and learn more, we have to be willing to change our minds and behaviour and be creative.

The default response to any idea should thus be “Yes and…”. There are always more reasons not to do something new than to do them for the simple fact that ‘Not doing’ costs you less energy than ‘Doing something’.

Instead of listing a bunch of reasons why something shouldn’t be done, improve & build the ideas of others. Change may be significant, but it does not have to be big. Just seek the 1% you can improve every day. What will really help you here is to Stay Curious.

🔍 Stay curious

Core value: Open, Equal and Supportive

Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself. You have to trust good intentions.

Stay curious about other people and other people’s views. Be willing to adapt your personal thinking to it. It will not only help you to understand each other better but also help you explain your own thinking better.

Compassion will help you most here. Compassion is deliberate and focuses on “How can I help”. This requires you to be self-aware and have self-compassion: I’m not perfect, I don’t have all the answers, and that’s ok. It also means you have to be willing to rise above yourself and admit defeat without taking this as a personal failure.

Curiosity is not about judging but about ‘finding’ and understanding! And once you understand, Dare to decide.

⏩ Dare to decide

Core value: Evolving & Open

Making decisions can be hard. Decisions will never be perfect, and that’s ok. We decide based on the info we have now and commit until we have learned something new. What we know now is in data, in what customers tell us, but it’s most often found in both the actual behaviour we see and in our combined history and knowledge.

Don’t hesitate to modify or alter a decision when it becomes clear that the original decision isn’t working out exactly as planned. An effective person knows that making a decision and taking action is almost always better than taking no action at all. And experiments will help because we learn most by doing!

Start Doing when you are 70% certain. For nearly all projects, 50% is too little, 80% is too much. 70% is enough for projects to go slow in the beginning and fast at the end, not the other way around. Good experiments have a clear build, measure, and learn cycle. Make sure you have the metrics to do the measure and learn. Experiments may fail, and they should. If we don’t make mistakes, we don’t do new things, and we don’t learn.

One more thing: Be clear and transparent about your decisions, especially when they are hard or impactful. Clear = kind. Help others reach a state of confident humility and learn to learn.

👩‍🎓 Learn to learn

Core value: Evolving

When you Own (sh)it and Dare to decide, people will give you feedback on what to improve or how to improve. This feedback should not be internalized as if it was given to you as a person, it should only be applied to the work you delivered: You are not your work. You are not the role, you are filling a role.

Feedback is one of the tools we use to learn and grow. Take the time and space to grow in the areas where you can add to yourself and the organization. If you don’t, you get stuck, and in turn, the organization will get stuck. Learn to Learn and take time and space to do so. It might be the most valuable skill you’ll have in life. And if you feel you stop learning, then Do something else.

🔀 Do something else

Core value: Evolving

We all like working with people who are inspired and enthusiastic about what they do. They are intrinsically motivated by their work and take pride in it. They know what excites them and what does not. If they run into a part of their work they don’t like, they either find a way to turn it around or find a way to stop doing it without hurting the company. A strength is not something you are good at. A strength is something that gives more energy than it costs. If things start costing energy, then start doing something else. Voys gives you the ability to give back a role and grow another strength. We want to follow the philosophy: Love the work and the people you do it with.

💘 Love the work and the people you do it with

Core value: Equal, Open, Supportive & Evolving

In life, we often search for safety, approval, and control. The problem is:

  1. These come from the "fear" side of being human and
  2. These manifest from the outside in; "What do I need from my environment?

The antidote for fear is universal Love. Love for yourself, love for the work that you do, and love for the people with whom you do it.

Love is built into all of us by default. Love is something you can experience and feel but also something you can give. In essence, a healthy organization is, therefore, a loving organization where you can be your authentic self.

Fear has no place to exist when love is present.

A lot of our principles stem from the combination of ❤️Our core values, our company culture and the fact that we are self-managed. And one of the systems we use for self-management is Holacracy.