Friendships and Faith
In his book Business as a Calling, Michael Novak lists "community-building" (along with "innovation" and "practical realism") as the virtues businesspeople bring to society.
9Wood's community-building began Sunday morning on Feb 24, 2004. The original 9Wood partners met to discuss the possibility of going into business together. At this very first meeting, it was agreed that to join together as partners we needed to know if we shared the same values. We didn't have a business, a name, or a real plan. But we knew we needed to share basic convictions. We finalized them a couple of weeks later over coffee. Like a compass, they still guide our thinking. 9Wood's core values, crafted by the original owners, are 5 interdependent essentials:
- Character: To conduct ourselves with the integrity called forth in Biblical Eldership and applied to business (attitudes like humility, truth-seeking, pursuing honest gain).
- Partnership Paradigm: To make consensus based decisions, with a win-win bias.
- Servant Leadership: To live out "Leadership that serves," not "I'm the Master, you're in the dark."
- Our Mission: To improve the economic welfare and quality of life of all stakeholders.
- Accountability: To practice mutual submission, with a disposition toward giving responsibility and holding each other accountable.
Out of these values spring our company's approach to business; things like:
- Open Book financials so that each employee knows the real score;
- Consensus-based decision making built on knowing the score;
- A profit sharing system to share when the score tells us we reached our goals;
- Win-Win employee agreements where our unique giftings can be released;
- A focus on improving our work life together (like having fun at work, opportunity, respect) along with the financial welfare of all our company's stakeholders;
- A goal to serve our customers—both inside and outside the company.
The alpha-numeric name symbolizes a commitment to maintain the tension between an engineered, computer-assisted manufacturing company and the high-touch, responsiveness of a boutique custom fabricator.
Inside our Industry
For those inside the industry, "9" has a special meaning. Division 9 FINISHES locates the niche where we and our customers make our livelihoods: Division 9 Reps, Drywall and Acoustic Contractors, and Acoustical Consultants. This is the division in which architects specify wood ceilings.