A company’s core philosophy has the power to influence, inspire, and challenge employees on a daily basis. Nike, being the progressive company they are, employs an emergent strategy, “one that originates in the interaction of an organization with its environment.” Our CEO Les Kollegian and President Charlie Van Vechten both believe strongly in Nike’s philosophy not only because of the great success it has garnered Nike and their products, but also because of the continuous call to creativity and innovation it facilitates. In fact, Les often quotes the Nike core purpose “experiencing the emotion of winning and crushing your competition” when educating businesses on the importance of a business core purpose to develop the foundation of a brand promise and value proposition. Also, we’re not sure if Nike’s talented creative agency Weiden Kennedy was a part of developing these principles, but we wouldn’t be surprised. Anyway…I digress. Here are the 11 Nike Maxims.
1. “It is our nature to innovate.” The company sees innovation as one of its core organizational competencies.
2. “Nike is a company.”
3. “Nike is a brand.” The “swoosh” logo is instantly recognizable around the world. Nike sees this as the symbol of its global leadership. It will enter only those markets that it thinks it can dominate. It says: ‘lf we can’t lead it, we don’t need it.”
4. “Simplify and go.” Nike products have short life-cycles in terms both of technology and fashion. The company believes that making quick yet skilful decisions is key to its success. This aspect of Nike’s vision, together with the seventh maxim, is particularly powerful in articulating the company’s hugely successful use of emergent strategy.
5. “The consumer decides.” The company is keenly aware of the sophistication of its customers and it treats them as its key stakeholder.
6. “Be a sponge.” Employees at Nike are encouraged to be curious and open to new ideas, whatever their source.
7. “Evolve immediately.” Nike sees itself as being in perpetual motion–viewing change as a key source of innovation. This attitude can easily be observed in the wide range of products that Nike offers its consumers. It is another example of the company’s use of emergent strategy to good effect.
8. “Do the right thing.” Nike thinks of itself as a responsible global citizen, embracing the stakeholder view of corporate social responsibility. It encourages its people to be honest and transparent and to promote diversity and sustainability.
9. “Master the fundamentals.” All the innovation in the world is useless if you can’t put it into action. A crucial part of Nike’s success is its ability to refine its performance–the recent growth in profits suggests that it’s achieving this.
10. “We are on the offense–always.” To stay ahead in an extremely competitive environment, Nike urges its people to act like leaders in their field to achieve victory.
11. “Remember the Man.” The late Bill Bowerman is still held in high esteem throughout Nike, both for his understanding of athletes’ needs and for his innovative spirit. (Jerome Payne, www.cbsmoneywatch.com).”