DRC’s Focus on Culture

Inspired by our Shared Purpose we collaborated as a team to also create six core values: A Trustworthy Partner, Live Aloha and Practice Pono, Highly Competent and Capable, Deliver Results, Pleasure to work with and Completed with Care.

June 14, 2019

For nearly half a century, Decision Research Corporation (DRC) has developed and implemented innovative software and technology solutions for insurers of all sizes. From inception in 1971 in Honolulu, Hawaii, we’ve been able to consistently deliver results for customers through not only our technological prowess but also by maintaining a strong sense of integrity and fostering a collective commitment to customer success. As we’ve continued to grow and scale it’s become increasingly valuable to define and codify the expectations we have of ourselves as individuals and collectively as a team.

Part of our strategic planning process undertook a review that helped prioritize what was most important to us as a company and what we want to stand for in the marketplace. Again and again, we returned to the idea that we are only successful when we enable our customers to be successful. To do this we not only have to build great technologies but we also understand how our technology solutions work in the real world and continually work to make them even better. This led to the articulation of our Shared Purpose — what we have collectively come together to accomplish — that manifested in the idea of Customer Commitment without Compromise.

DRC’s Core Value Excercise
In addition to developing our Shared Purpose, we engaged the organization to think critically about the core values that guide our behavior. Inspired by our Shared Purpose we collaborated as a team to also create six core values: A Trustworthy Partner, Live Aloha and Practice Pono, Highly Competent and Capable, Deliver Results, Pleasure to work with and Completed with Care. DRC employees then participated in a series of activities to find out how those core values impact the day-to-day behavior of all of us who work at DRC. We also used these findings as a starting point for how we can inspire organizational change, in the long run, to make the DRC culture even stronger and more resilient. To solicit employee perspectives, we created six posters with each poster focused on one of our six Core Values. We asked employees to write down on post-its ways in which the core value shapes their daily activities at DRC. Here are some of the great things they told us:

Our principal core value is to be a Trustworthy Partner. While trust is a fundamental aspect of every fruitful relationship it can be easier to actually assert than to practice. David DeSteno the author of “The Truth About Trust” describes trust as “an evolving thing that ebbs and flows.” At DRC we want to make sure that our company culture ensures that trust is not a variable but ingrained into everything we do. This means that “we tell the truth, always, even when it’s ugly”, “we do not make promises that we can’t meet” and “we always remember that trust is so much easier to create than it is to repair.”

We’re a pretty unusual technology company in that we’re headquartered in Hawaii with unique Hawaiian influences on our culture. This led to the value to Live Aloha and Practice Pono. It’s not a core value we’ve seen anywhere else, and it’s a challenge to directly translate these Hawaiian words into English, but “Aloha” speaks to our warm, welcoming spirit and the balance between our minds and our hearts. “Pono” represents our approach to strive for goodness, excellence, harmony and balance in all the things we do. From the moment you step into DRC’s office, you feel the airy and cheerful vibe of Aloha. The walls are colorful and surfboards serve as artwork. It’s about “doing the right thing, making things right and practicing the spirit of Aloha.” At DRC we work hard to deliver the best results for our clients and we also know how to celebrate our accomplishments and co-workers. From Birthday Thursdays to summer picnics and potlucks we put pride in our work and collective celebrations of milestones and accomplishments.

We aim to be Highly Competent and Capable. Our goal is to be the best at what we do to help our clients run better businesses. But we also know that we can only improve when we are eager to learn and listen. When you ask DRC employees to reflect on what this value means to them, most responses include the emphasis we put on learning and advancing: “We need to constantly learn new things to be great at what we do for our clients”, “Learning and education in life never stop. Take pride in what you know and the opportunities to learn” and “Only the one who is willing to learn with an open mind can become capable.”

We Deliver Results. Everything we do we do to make our clients successful. They put a lot of trust in us, we can’t let them down. And we know that the best way to make them successful is by delivering outstanding results. We at DRC are “ready to go the extra mile” so even if it’s just a sprint we make sure that we are prepared to run a marathon. But we don’t run this marathon alone. We run and win as a team — more of a relay race sometimes than a lonely long-distance run. Teamwork is a big part of our success story. As one employee wrote, “We work together and support each other wherever possible to deliver what has been promised.”

We are looking for long-term relationships – in our clients as well as in our employees. This is why one of our core values is to be a Pleasure to Work With. At DRC this means “to be respectful and helpful and to share knowledge and to share a smile whenever possible.” We are always eager to advance and share our expertise. An open-door policy and anonymous feedback practices allow us to constantly improve and stimulate an open exchange of ideas.

We ensure that everything we do is Completed with Care. We are devoted to detail. We want to make sure that our work is the best it can be. No faults. No excuses. Therefore “we ask questions instead of assuming, we eliminate silos, we double-check and we are held accountable for our work.”

A Long Future of Helping Our Clients Succeed
We’re proud of what DRC has achieved over the last five decades, but we believe we’re just beginning to discover what we can ultimately become. We look forward to a long future of helping our clients succeed. We take pride in our work, our employees and our customers and our Core Values help keep what we hold most important front in center in our day-to-day work. We’re elated that our employees were excited to participate in this exercise and were able to give us so many tangible examples of our Core Values in practice. We look forward to checking in again to see what other ways our Core Values are brought to life every day across DRC.