Yesterday I shared a copy of a company philosophy our board member found on his recent journey to Zambia.
Here it is again:
We are all important.
Be grateful every day.
All men and women are equal
Help each other, don’t blame each other.
Leave anger at the gate, be positive
Communication is key.
Life is better when you’re laughing.
Take your work seriously but yourself lightly.
I speculated it was a probably a pretty good company. He sent this description confirming my hunch.
“It must have been more than just a wall decoration for this was perhaps the most progressive and successful business we saw in our ride to and from the airport – a distance of about 20 miles. The Mfuwe area is low income and I would think unemployment or at least functional unemployment must be significantly higher than Zambia’s overall rate of about 15%. We saw no modern or progressive looking manufacturing or service business in the area. With a population of over 5000, Mfuwe is not so much a town as a long strip of scattered dwellings and shops connecting the airport to the east entrance of the South Luangwa National Park. Tourism and game conservation are the main drivers of employment.
Tribal Textiles has a covered pavilion where much of the artistic work is done. We were greeted by someone who acted like an owner. He led us through the process and at each stage we got to meet the artisan performing his/her work. All had pride, smiles and obviously knew what they were doing. The overall process was very creative and interesting. We then went into the sewing room with about 20 machines powered by foot pedals. Again, each team member continued to produce while acknowledging our presence with a friendly smile or nod. It was in this room that I took the picture.
We were then introduced to a hostess that ushered us through the well-organized areas of finished products. By this time, we were vested in the people and the process. We wanted to buy their products. We were conservative since we would have to be passing through US Customs. However, they assured us we could by online anytime we wanted to. The business has a good website that provides the same tour of the process as well as the opportunity to shop. http://www.tribaltextiles.co.zm/
Did the philosophy have the desired result? I think so for the 100 people working there and the attractive and consistent quality of the products they were making impressed and were head and shoulders above anything else we saw. I think the leadership of this business has a vision for the company and its teammates. This simple chalk board expressed the basic view of the culture that had been created and was helping the business and it team to succeed.
The game viewing was excellent so we hope to visit the area again someday. Tribal Textiles will also be stop for us.”
His response confirms why we spend our time on engagement. It makes a difference. Any time. In any environment.