Authored by Kristen Nunery, myCOI Founder and CEO
2019 has been a year of growth – literally and figuratively. myCOI celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year, and it’s evident that we have moved far beyond our time as a scrappy start-up. After relocating our headquarters to downtown Indianapolis in 2018, we have managed to fill our new (and once seemingly huge!) space with a team that now exceeds 60 people. Those growth milestones have prompted us to get more intentional about the values and culture we wanted to foster, and this year we’ve been hyper-focused on clearly defining who we are, who we want to be as a company, and importantly, the values we want to live by. To be completely honest, it took us a few tries to get it right. Reflecting and building on 10 years of hard work and fellowship, we have landed on a set of refined values that now serve as our true North. We presented the results of those efforts to the team at our 2019 company meeting, and I am excited to share them with the rest of the world now as we prepare to launch into 2020 and a brand-new decade.
The Start-up Mindset, Evolved
For a long-time, who we were as an organization was driven by who our leaders were. That’s not uncommon with start-ups. They often become who the founder is, taking on a similar vibe and personality. That was exactly the case for us. We are really resourceful, always push forward, face problems head on, and love challenges. We think outside the box to solve problems for our customers. It’s a gritty, fighting spirit that I pride myself and my success on, and it’s how many start-ups begin. Ultimately, that same attitude and mindset brought myCOI success.
In the beginning, functioning in sync was easy. The fundamental “how’s” brought us together:
- How do we start creating a team?
- How do we go about building our software?
- Where are we going to find our first customers?
These are key problems and collectively we solved them. Those early years were a grind and we were sitting back-to-back working on solutions and overcoming challenges.
Fast forward 10 years and we have a killer product, an incredible team, and hundreds of customers. We’re scaling in a big way. We doubled our team in a year and a half and still have aggressive hiring goals. While quick growth presents many opportunities, it also introduces an important challenge: how to maintain the attitude and mindset of a start-up as we scale into a larger company.
The answer is our people. We’re striving to become a top-notch organization for growing and developing our staff. That is at the core of our purpose and values. To us, culture isn’t about beer and ping pong. Well, we do love beer, but it’s not about that. It’s about our people being the best and that we as an organization support their personal and professional journeys.
Our values are the foundation for making everything possible.
Our Core Values: “UR COI”
Unite: Winning while doing something hard requires us to pull in the same direction. This is all about teamwork – be respectful and supportive, lead by example, collaborate, show flexibility, embrace change. If we’re going to row the boat together, we need to be a united, supportive, superior team.
Reach: This value has been deeply ingrained in the myCOI culture and mindset from day one! Reach is constantly learning and improving yourself; stretching beyond your limits. We must support each team member in this capacity and have expectations that put people in a place to keep growing and developing. Status quo isn’t enough for us.
Choose Positive: As a start-up, we faced a lot of challenges and hard times. Starting a company is incredibly difficult! You must face things that come your way with a positive attitude, or you crumble. The same goes for this critical scaling period we are in right now. We are still going to face challenges and hit bumps in the road. Individuals that choose to show up with a positive attitude every day help foster a much stronger, united team. Ultimately, a group that sees the glass half full accomplishes more, better supports the customer, and is more satisfied and engaged in their work. We are a team that chooses to look on the bright side!
Own It: When we push ourselves and strive to be our best, we expect the same from the people next to us. This is about being somebody who lives with integrity and shows up every day. It’s all about trust, which creates a healthy environment and a team on which people want to participate. It’s powerful to come in every day knowing everyone is truly doing their best. We own our results and we don’t play the blame game. We are a team that has each other’s backs. We own challenges, step up, and make things happen.
Innovate: This value is about seeing around the corner for our customers. It’s about leading the industry now and in the future. To make a significant difference in a heck of a lot of people’s lives, we must innovate in approach, processes, and technology. We are the ones making movement happen. We have this unique entrepreneurial culture that drives the experimentation and innovation that keeps us on top. We recognize opportunities to think about what we offer in ways others aren’t. We take care of our customers in uniquely impactful and meaningful ways. We are leaders, not followers!
Why Does It Matter?
Our core values support this organization’s goals. Our abilities and future accomplishments are grounded in the team we have built. Companies are their people. The most successful companies realize this fact and strive to develop an environment where their team can thrive. Being intentional around core values and what we expect of each teammate is critical for developing the culture we’ve always envisioned.
The last 10 years have been a wild ride. I’ve learned a lot about myself, this business, COIs, and my team. When I look forward to the next 10 years, I see limitless opportunities for what this company is positioned to do. As for my core values – I like to win, so we are going to win! We will win at having a supportive, team-based culture. We will win at growing this company into a force that transforms the industry. We will win at fulfilling our mission of protecting companies from the disruptive impact of claims. Nothing is going to stop us from charging full speed ahead.
A big thanks to our supporters, stakeholders, and staff.
Cheers to 2020 and to an amazing next decade of success!