This article is written by Triptease's co-founder and Chief Customer Officer Alexandra Zubko and Marketing Director Ian Macleod. Find out more about our leadership team here.
There's a great deal of debate about the 'right' way to set your company's values. From General Electric to Facebook, everybody has a view. At IHG, we launched a multiple-month exercise to solicit input from thousands of colleagues in order to articulate our company values.
When Charlie, Al and I started Triptease in 2014, we decided as a founding team what our values were. We knew that passion and belief started with us. We created the mission and vision for the company. Our values were just as important.
On a wet and dark winter day, we gathered ourselves after a long day of meetings and recharged at the beautiful Shangri-La hotel in London. Energized by the buzz at the hotel and the inspirational views outside, we got fiery.
I remember answering one of the only two essay questions Stanford asks in its admissions process: What matters most to you, and why?
As a team, we needed to ask ourselves the same thing. What mattered most to us as a team? Why?
So, we created four values. Enough to remember. Enough to be meaningful.
Read on to learn about each of our values and how we use them throughout our business.
'One Team' is easily misinterpreted. It doesn't mean we all have to get along. It doesn't mean we always agree. It means that the company and its priorities - not those of the individual team - take priority over our own individual preferences.
I was really impressed by McKinsey's 'Obligation to dissent' value. It permeated the company culture. It's much stronger than simply 'here is your permission to speak up'. Living the value means 'if you have a different opinion, you must voice it.' It leads to smarter, better decisions and a more engaged and informed workforce. We wanted to create the same openness at Triptease.
The benefits to the organization are clear: We each have a responsibility for the success of the company. It requires that each individual acts and shares as quickly as they can. No matter who you are, where you are or what you do, great ideas can come from anywhere. We feel this strongly throughout the business, and it's closely tied to our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion.
We aim to deliver a true 'WOW' to all of our customers. We work with them as close partners, listening to and understanding their needs in order to shape and build the best-performing tech in the industry.
We measure ourselves and deliver against strict targets for our clients. We bring our wealth of industry data to bear on individual hotels, helping them improve at the same rate as the very biggest chains. Our Product Managers and engineers speak directly with hotel partners, getting to grips with their challenges and iterating on features and designs in response. We employ the best tools to ensure we're prioritizing what our clients most need to solve their biggest business challenges.
We have run Net Promoter Surveys (NPS) for many years, both to track our success at solving problems for clients but also to identify where we can push ourselves further. For us, what our clients say about us isn't a vanity metric: It's core to who we are and what we build.
If you were to ask the team at Triptease to name our most important value, they would probably tell you this one. It's core to everything we do and how we operate as a business. We're eager to learn from clients, from each other, from other industries, from anywhere that will make us better at what we do.
It also means the onus is on all of us as individuals to share what we learn. Our three offices in Singapore, London and New York regularly run sharing lunches or fireside chats in which a volunteer shares their knowledge about anything - from wholesale undercutting to Italian olive oil.
Behind the scenes, we train our teams continuously. Each Triptease employee has a learning budget to spend each year to invest in their development. We gather for offsites and bring in external speakers. We use a coaching tool to ensure that every member of our team gets the support and training they need. We manage feedback and development of people using the Radical Candor approach.
All of this learning is distilled into our service to clients. We share what we learn from other hotels, from other hotels and from the experience our team members bring with them when they join us at Triptease. Through your Quarterly Business Reviews with your Direct Booking Coaches, you'll learn what messages resonate and how to design the right marketing campaigns to maximize conversion and attract the right users to your website.
The ultimate example of this is the Direct Booking Summit, which we host three times a year in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. We just wrapped up our Dallas event, but tickets are still available for our Singapore event on February 27-28.
For this final value, I'm going to hand over to our Marketing Director Ian Macleod. Rocketship epitomizes everything we do as a fast-growth startup, and there's no better person to explain our approach.
Rocketship. It's the value that unites us most with other tech startups. It's very easy to say, but much harder to implement and live by. For many of us, human nature dictates that we continue to work at something until we're satisfied that every angle and eventuality is covered. Rocketship is about working out how to achieve incredible results without lengthy processes. Its core principles centre on making decisions quickly; innovating continuously; testing, learning and iterating; and focusing on a fast pace of execution.
The concept is not new for startups. When you're disrupting an industry, a small team's ability to move faster than the dominant market leader is essential to gaining traction in a marketplace. Engineering and product design frameworks have developed from 'waterfall,' linear processes to agile development, MVP launching and continuous testing and iterations (as made famous in Eric Ries's The Lean Startup). At Triptease, our aim has always been to transfer this agile, iterative process across the rest of the business - rather than only sitting in our development team.
While Rocketship primarily focuses on speed and rapid delivery, it's imperative for us to ensure that attention to detail never suffers. Finding the right balance between pace and quality is something that we take extremely seriously at Triptease. Our Obsessive Learning value focuses not only on the hotel industry but also on how internally we can act more efficiently while still producing products, events, content, coaching and benchmarks that hoteliers love.
Finally, one of the most important applications of Rocketship is the ability to spot opportunities and react quickly. In the same vein, if we spot a problem then we come together as One Team to get the issue fixed. Every second counts in our mission to drive improvement and revenue growth to our partners. Our Rocketship value ensures that we are always agile and always focusing on how we can bring the world back to direct.