At Bread, we believe that healthy businesses must know and live by their values. Values drive a brand’s identity, influence a company’s daily operations, and create an organization’s lasting impression on the world. In other words, values are crucial to organizational health and growth. After years of discussion, revision, and evolution, Bread is ready to reveal its own core values: creativity, unity, and excellence—otherwise known as the Bread CUE.
Why Share Our Core Values?
Core values signify an organization’s deepest, most driving priorities, and they exist within every company, whether or not that company has named those values. Core values drive a company, whether or not a company has control of its core values. Without intention and action, core values are lifeless words. When we allow our core values to guide our organizational choices, however, we create space for growth and transformation. In sharing our core values with you, Bread hopes to demystify the often messy, always worth it, values discovery process.
Discovering the CUE
For our founder, Grace Kent Johnson, Bread’s core values were, for years, elusive. “Bread is a young company. As we grew and grew so quickly, I struggled to nail down exactly what we stood for as a company,” Grace said, “I was tempted to list values that weren’t really values. They were more like aspirations. I see our clients gravitate toward aspirations, too. A company may want to be innovative—and they may list innovation as a value—but they’re still using outdated technology and systems. That’s where we come in: to clarify the distinction between goals and values. Values aren’t created; they’re discovered. I had to be careful not to confuse my hopes and dreams with our core values.”
Before she sat down to brainstorm Bread’s core values, Grace asked the Bread team what they thought those values might be. “I received invaluable responses from the team. Without their input, I would have been lost,” Grace said. “Companies need to know what their employees perceive about the vibe of the place where they work. Team members are your most valuable resource; they perceive things you simply can’t.”
After reading through the team’s responses, Grace then sat down in a quiet space, ready to discover Bread’s core values. “Based on the team’s input, I was struck by how many of us believe that Bread is a place where people can come together around a table and do good things,” Grace said. “I realized that everyone on the team—from designers to web developers to project managers—possesses three key characteristics: creativity, unity, and excellence. These are the tenets that drive who we are.”
Decoding the CUE
Creativity, unity, and excellence all carry specific definitions within the Bread sphere. Here’s a quick breakdown of the values that make us who we are:
Creativity: You don’t have to be an artist or designer to work at Bread. You do, however, need to be creative. Creativity goes beyond being ‘artsy;’ instead, creativity involves critical thinking, unconventional problem solving, and a boundless desire to learn more about whichever project we accept. Creatives aren’t just quirky individuals; they’re innovative, adaptive forward-thinkers who are energized—not discouraged—by the unexpected. We seek out curious creatives, those who have an insatiable need to discover new things. Curious creatives, after all, are the best kind. Bread values creativity because it allows us to face complex issues with renewed resolve. Creativity enables us to make unparalleled moves in the best interest of our clients.
Unity: When we transformed Creative Bread Studio into Unify by Bread, we knew that we wanted to see businesses and communities grow by becoming more unified. At Bread, we long to see people come together around the table. We desire to see organizations become more whole. On our own team, every member shares a common goal: to help our clients become healthy and win. Unified companies and communities, after all, are successful companies and communities. Unity keeps us accountable. Alone, we can accomplish so little, but together, we can accomplish so much.
Excellence: While creativity and unity are excellent internal values, they do not do much for our company if the work we produce does not speak for itself. At Bread, every team member arrives at work each day with a fighting determination to produce excellent—not acceptable, not adequate, but excellent—work that withstands all scrutiny. We don’t rest until we produce the best graphic designs, websites, digital solutions, business strategies, or written content that we possibly can. We’re picky. We’re particular. We’re obsessed with excellence, and that’s what sets us apart.
What’s Your CUE?
“Once I realized that our core values are creativity, unity, and excellence, I saw an opportunity for us to send a signal out into the world. A CUE,” Grace said, “In fact, all communities and organizations have a cue, whether they know it or not. Based on their values, organizations send out a powerful signal. If a company values the bottom line over anything else, then that’s their cue. If a company values people, then that’s their cue.” At Bread, the CUE we send out into the world says, We’re here to get creative, help you unify, and produce excellent work.