Editor’s Note: Although Craig produced this article before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the message is actually more important now in this “new normal.” We encourage you to read a related interview with Craig and our VP of People for leading remote teams in crisis to understand how Forcura’s culture is the foundation for all we do, no matter where we are.
As entrepreneurs create new businesses, then strive to become leaders in their respective market segment or industry, they are driven to focus on all the basics: securing funding sources, developing products or services, building a sales pipeline, finding the right partners, and knowing the competition. But one thing that first-time executives often ignore – possibly because they believe it will evolve on its own – is a company culture. Investing in the right corporate culture up front, and building on that investment through everything your business does and says, is vital if you want to achieve a leadership position.
You can begin by asking what attitudes and behaviors do you want your executive team and employees – and by extension your partners and customers – to adopt? Here are the five core values that form the foundation of Forcura’s culture. They’ve helped us move the business forward more quickly and successfully than we ever could have imagined!
#1 – BOLD
I attended my first home health and hospice industry conference in 2012, with not much more than a vision of what our solution could be, and still signed four paying customers! From that moment forward, I was determined that everyone in our company challenge themselves to take bold, calculated risks and never accept the status quo. I had some initial failures and changed directions…and there have been more blips along the way. But as long as you learn from what doesn’t work, and believe that you can always find something better, you can shape a work environment that allows employees to confidently push the envelope.
#2 – INNOVATIVE
Innovative thinking is part of Forcura’s DNA, and we look for partners who share that fundamental philosophy. With a vision to be the standard communications platform for the post-acute industry, we see ourselves as the catalysts who help home health agencies and hospices transition from documents, to data, to an information-based and connected world. By listening carefully to the needs of our clients, looking at industry trends, and hiring top-notch workers, we develop and deliver increasingly creative solutions. Our innovation pays off when we see agencies replace very inefficient and often chaotic situations with more streamlined and manageable business practices. We help ease their burden, giving them new and valuable insights into their operations and finances.
#3 – TRANSPARENT
Ben Franklin made it sound so simple when he said, “Honesty is the best policy.” But companies are not always forthright and sincere with the people who mean the most to the success of their business: employees, customers and partners. From the very beginning, we’ve conducted ourselves with openness and candor in all aspects of our business, whether dealing with each other, a client or an ally. Given the ability to discover virtually anything about a company or an individual through a quick online search, being transparent about your policies, products and practices just makes good sense.
#4 – PASSIONATE
As an entrepreneur, the most important decision you can make is to go after something because you’re passionate about it; it can’t be just about the money. Starting a business is a difficult road – but passion has gotten me through the toughest times. I wake up every morning excited about where I’m going to work, and along with our executive team, spread that enthusiasm throughout the company. By enabling our workforce to feel aligned to our company’s vision and have complete buy-in, they produce incredible results and are less likely to look elsewhere for a job. All of us are dedicated to elevating the delivery of patient care. To that end, we put a lot of passion into exceeding our clients’ expectations and owning the outcomes.
#5 – FUN
Fulfilling our mission and vision requires an intense focus and hard work. To balance that, we try not to take ourselves too seriously and have a good time while making a difference. We’re so committed to weaving fun into our workplace that a dedicated Culture Team is charged with developing and organizing events for our employees that focus on team building, service, and/or celebration. We host quarterly kick-off company meetings outside of our office and spend the afternoon doing a fun team-bonding activity such as attending a sporting event or taking a boat cruise on the Intracoastal. Our Culture Team also incorporates spontaneous events for our employees at the office like inviting a DJ to play at the office during Friday happy hour, placing lottery tickets under each employee's chairs, random trivia competitions, and more. Making fun memories outside of work, either together or on our own, is something we will always celebrate.
The Journey is Nothing without the People
Some people are just wired to be entrepreneurs – and I’m one of them. I simply love the challenge and the energy. I started a pool cleaning business at age 12, a neighborhood lawn maintenance company when I was 13, a fraternity during college, and my first company with a few friends two years after graduation. Over time, through trial and error, and with the help of some amazing mentors, I’ve learned the importance of planning, listening, and validation. However, none of these will ensure your growth to leadership status without the best employees. Finding and keeping the right people makes it possible for you to move your business forward in ways you can’t even imagine. So as you start your business, make the time to attract and retain the people who bring their “A” game every day. Be sure to offer them a work-life balance – and a corporate culture that will carry all of you together to market leadership.
Craig Mandeville, a seasoned innovator and entrepreneur, is the Founder and fearless leader of Forcura. Craig founded the company in 2012 after witnessing first-hand how much of an impact digital management of medical records and secure communication could have on improving patient care. Craig’s vision is to lead the change in post-acute care towards true interoperability, reducing redundancy of documentation throughout the continuum of patient care.