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Our Culture

Avtec's company culture is exemplified by 28 Fundamentals created by CEO Michael Branning and practiced by all Avtec employees.

Adherence to these Fundamentals ensures mutual success for our team and our customers while facilitating collaboration and fostering professional and personal growth.

Why would a company have a page devoted to culture?

Because it's important. Maybe THE most important thing if you want to have a great organization where people demonstrate great attitudes, work hard, and deliver results while having fun. It doesn't happen by accident, and it's not easy.

Over 13 years ago, I joined a leadership organization called Vistage. We talked a lot about culture, but at first I just didn't "get it." Two speakers made all the difference: Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky and David J. Friedman. Dr. Grodnitzky's book "Culture Trumps Everything" explains why culture is important and how it drives performance and ultimately success as an organization. David Friedman's book explains a method of defining and implementing the culture you desire.

From this time spent on learning, I created the 28 Avtec Fundamentals, which are listed below. These are very specific and observable behaviors we expect from everyone at Avtec. Every week there is an Avtec "fundamental of the week," which is an opportunity for a member of our team to write a short article from their experience and perspective, which I share with all employees and even our contractors. Everyone gets a turn! This helps us know each other better and hone in on what the Fundamentals really mean.

If you want to learn more, we’ve put links to the resources I mentioned on this page. Thanks for visiting avtecinc.com!

Michael Branning
Avtec CEO
 

A message from Michael Branning on the importance of company culture.

The Avtec Fundamentals

These 28 key behaviors describe our company values in action and ensure mutual success for our team and our customers.

Filter by Value: All Values Take Care of the Customer Employ Intense Collaboration Exemplify a "Can Do" Attitude Strive for Excellence Take Care of Each Other

1 Take care of our customers

In all situations, ensure the client's interests are protected, even when it is uncomfortable for us. Avtec's brand states we provide "consoles you can count on." A brand is a promise, and our reputation is at stake.

2 Seek to create win/win solutions

Learn to think from others' perspective. Discover what others need and find solutions that meet their needs while still fulfilling our own. Win/win solutions are always longer lasting and more satisfying than win/lose solutions.

3 Check your ego at the door

Our own egos and personal agendas must never take precedence over doing what's best for the team. Being concerned with who gets credit, who looks good, and who looks bad, is counter-productive. Making the best decision for the good of the enterprise must always come first.

4 Practice blameless problem solving

Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. Focus on the following questions: What are our best options to solve the problem? What have we learned that can help keep us from repeating the mistake? How will we integrate that learning into new behaviors or practices?

5 Look to understand the real issue

On the surface many problems seem simple, but they often have complex roots. Collaborate with others and take time to understand the real causes, because oversimplification leads to disappointment and ineffective fixes.

6 Make decisions that reflect a reverence for long-term relationships

Our primary goal is the long-term success of the enterprise. We must view all of our decisions and actions in this light.

7 Do things right

Don't take short cuts. The goal is to get things "right," not simply to get things "done." If there isn't time to accomplish the entire goal, ensure the first steps result in a foundation for further improvements and not a dead end.

8 Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest

Kindness begets more kindness. Trust begets more trust. We believe that most people genuinely want to do the right thing. Act out of this belief.

9 Communicate to be understood, not just heard

Know your audience. Write and speak in a way that they can understand. Use the simplest possible explanation with a minimum of buzzwords. Confirm they understand and if not, be patient; they may not have your knowledge and experience.

10 Set and ask for expectations

We judge situations not by what happens, but by how they compare to what we expected to happen. Don't assume! Learn to create mutually understood expectations in every situation.

11 Look ahead and anticipate

Be better prepared by anticipating future needs and addressing them today. Avoid the mistakes that come from last-minute actions.

12 Have a bias for structure

Look to create systems and processes that support our ability to perform efficiently with consistency. Ask yourself if what you are doing will be repeated, and if so, how can I (or the Team) re-use this work next time for better efficiency. Ask what data can be captured now that will help other functions in the future?

13 The quality of answers is directly related to the quality of your questions

Learn to ask yourself, "What information is missing that if known, the best course of action would become self-evident?"

14 Be quick to ask and slow to judge

Learn to gather the facts before making judgments. Ask clarifying questions. Be curious about additional information that may yield a more complete picture.

15 Honor commitments

Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it. If a commitment cannot be fulfilled, notify others early and agree upon a new commitment to be honored.

16 Listen generously

Learn to listen for the contribution in each other's speaking versus listening from our assessment, opinions, and judgments.

17 Speak straight

Speak honestly in a way that forwards what we are up to. Make clear and direct requests. Be willing to surface ideas or take positions that may result in conflict when it's necessary to reach our objectives, but in a kind and respectful manner.

18 Keep things fun

The world has much larger problems than our own. Keep perspective. Be light-hearted and smile.

19 Create a feeling of warmth and friendliness in every personal interaction

Every time you interact with a customer, coworker, vendor or partner you're on stage. This includes calls, visits, voicemail, letters, and e-mails. When the interaction is over, the relationship has been altered: either improved or diminished. Make dealing with you a memorable positive experience.

20 Practice the "Human Touch"

Treat people as individuals and show them you care. Look for opportunities to acknowledge their uniqueness and their humanness (calls, cards, notes, token gifts, etc.)

21 Follow-up everything

Internal and external clients rely on us and we rely on others. Record a follow-up date for every action and take responsibility for its completion.

22 Be punctual

Be on time for all appointments, phone calls, meetings, and promises. How you relate to time sends a message about how you relate to other commitments. Punctuality is a reflection of respect for others.

23 Be for each other

Support each other's success. Operate from the point of view that we're all in this together and that any one of us cannot win at the expense of someone else or the enterprise. Provide rigorous support when needed.

24 Be a source for acknowledgement and appreciation

Positive feedback is a tremendous energy source. Regularly give, receive, and ask for meaningful appreciation and acknowledgement.

25 Take responsibility

Don’t be a "victim." Ask for what you need and take full responsibility for your success.

26 Appearance counts

Your personal appearance makes a strong statement about the pride you take in your performance. Dress neatly and professionally. The appearance of our office makes a similar statement about the quality of our work. Take responsibility to see that our office environment is clean, neat, and professional.

27 Earn the trust of others

Be sincerely open-minded, genuinely listen, and be willing to examine your strongest convictions with humility. Demonstrate integrity with both your words and actions.

28 Seek constructive conflict, then commit

You are obligated to respectfully challenge ideas and decisions, even when doing so is uncomfortable. Leaders must encourage and support this process, and prevent fear of retaliation. Once a decision is determined, we all commit to it and pursue success, together.

Recommended Reading

Culture Trumps Everything by Gustavo R. Grodnitzky Buy Preview
Fundamentally Different by David J. Friedman Buy Preview
Vistage Executive Coaching Company Download the e‑Book PDF

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“It's our organization's culture, and the people that our culture attracts, that makes the difference between success and failure.”

Michael Branning, Avtec CEO

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