Rockwood is a team of leaders. Given the unique nature of our business, our work has a significant effect on a broad spectrum of people, including the hundreds of employees at our businesses and, indirectly, their families.
We therefore have an obligation to perform our work in a manner worthy of the confidence placed in us not only by our investors, but also by the employees who choose to bring their talents to a Rockwood-led company.
The following fundamentals describe the values that define our unique culture and commitment to extraordinary performance. They are what set us apart and make us a world-class firm.
Guiding Principle: Ethics are essential.
Strong ethics and character are the non-negotiable cornerstones of how we work.
- Do the right thing. Always. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, even when no one’s looking. Always tell the truth. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize and make it right.
- Treat people as people. We accept that people make mistakes and learn accordingly. We strive to openly admit mistakes, apologize, learn and move forward, and we attempt to create an environment in which our stakeholders are comfortable doing the same. We deeply value the physical and psychological health of our team members.
- Make commitments and honor them. There’s no better way to earn people’s trust than to be true to your word. DWYSYWD (do what you say you will do), when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. Allow extra time for surprises and delays, and don’t let these become excuses.
- Follow up on everything. Record a follow-up date for every action and take responsibility to see that it gets completed. We get paid to complete things, not just to put them in motion.
- Value people’s time. We commit to being respectful of our team members’ and stakeholders’ time. We make an exceptional effort to start and end our meetings at the agreed-upon times. In addition, during firm-wide meetings, we are fully engaged in the discussion and exhibit this respect by not being on our phones or computers.
- Hold yourself to the same standard to which you hold others. We hold ourselves to a very high standard and do not want to let our team down. Every so often, it is important to look in the mirror and ask these questions: Do I give as much as I take? Do I hold myself accountable for the tasks assigned to me as I hold others for theirs? Do I interact with others in the same way as I want and expect others to interact with me?
Guiding Principle: Communication is key.
When we communicate openly and listen generously, we build better partnerships and improve outcomes.
- Communicate to be understood. Know your audience. Write and speak in a way they can understand. Avoid using internal lingo, acronyms and industry jargon. Use the simplest possible explanations.
- Listen generously. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Be present and engaged. Quiet the noise in your head and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Create space for team members to express themselves without judgment. Listen with care and empathy. Above all, listen to understand.
- Get clear on expectations. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations up front. Establish mutually understood objectives and deadlines for all projects, issues and commitments. Where appropriate, confirm your communication by asking others to repeat back their understanding to ensure total clarity and agreement.
- Never let a debate be a zero-sum conversation. Practice blameless problem-solving by applying your creativity, spirit, and enthusiasm to developing solutions, rather than pointing fingers and dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve our processes so we don’t make the same mistake again. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.
- Speak straight. Be direct. Speak honestly in a way that moves the action forward. Make clear and direct requests. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.
- Be transparent. It is imperative that we create a work environment in which there are no hidden agendas and motives are centered on providing straightforward communication with all of our stakeholders.
- Give real-time feedback. We believe feedback is a gift and not only welcome it, but encourage it. It is best received in real time and is a great way to learn.
Guiding Principle: We are a learning organization.
Let’s learn from the past, challenge conventions, nurture intellectual curiosity, and share our knowledge.
- Knowledge is priceless. Get out of the echo chamber. Staying ahead of the curve is key in our industry. Always make efforts to get outside of the walls of Rockwood and our portfolio companies to understand what is going on in the market.
- Trust, but validate, and don’t be offended when others do the same. Get the facts before jumping to conclusions or making judgments. Be curious about what other information might give you a more complete picture.
- Commit to help develop our people (internally and externally). We firmly believe in continuous learning at our companies, and in developing our own Rockwood team so that we may grow personally and institutionally.
- Always look to build the Rockwood network. Our business is driven by relationships to find, fund and run investments. Always be on the lookout for a future partner, whether that is an operator, director, banker or service provider. Remember that it is always easier to give a favor than ask for one.
- Be collaborative. We are at our best when we allow ourselves to cherry-pick the best attributes of each team member’s ideas and perspectives. Sincerely ask for others’ opinions and views and proactively reach out to solicit new ideas and approaches. Keep a mindset of inclusiveness and not “I’m right”/“you’re wrong.”
- Be entrepreneurial. Find a way and look ahead. Take personal responsibility for making things happen—somehow, someway. Respond to every situation by exploring how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Solve problems and find opportunities before they are readily evident.
- Be adaptable. No two companies and no two people are the same. We are most effective in helping them achieve their full potential when we can adapt to their different settings, sensitivities and styles. Try to speak their language and meet them more than halfway.
- Be relentless about improvement. Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. “Because we’ve always done it that way” is not a reason. Keep getting better.
- Proactively ask others to question your “faith.” Don’t accept your historical tried-and-tested approaches or beliefs as “gospel.” Be curious and ask others to question your position. Healthy, vigorous debate creates better solutions. There’s no better question than “Why?” Never stop having others ask it of you.
Guiding Principle: Be humble. Be human.
Create a culture of success where positivity, balance and enjoyment of work are valued.
- Check the ego at the door. It’s not about you. Don’t let your ego or personal agenda get in the way of what’s best for the team. Worrying about who gets credit or taking things personally is counterproductive. Make sure every decision is based solely on advancing company goals.
- Be grateful. Every Rockwood team member is truly fortunate. While the weight of the important work we do can be stressful, always allow your disposition to be influenced by recognizing that we are fortunate. Fortunate to live where we do. Fortunate to do the work we do. Fortunate to work with people who are smart, interesting and caring. Let your gratitude show.
- Be positive. Tone matters. We strive to be friendly, warm and disarming. Every conversation, phone call, e-mail, letter, and even voicemail, sets a tone and creates a feeling. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you’re setting a tone of friendliness, warmth and helpfulness. Simply, be easy to work with and aim to have others leave exchanges looking forward to the next one. Negativity is contagious … so is positivity. “People don’t remember what you say; they remember how you make them feel.”
- Don’t keep score. An inquisitive culture will create productive conflict. Know this and appreciate this dynamic. Leave past problem-solving sessions in the past.
- Apply the 80/20 rule. We recognize that perfection is in our DNA at Rockwood, but we also attempt to be comfortable with good when good is enough.
- Keep things fun and maintain perspective. Remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day.
- Celebrate success. Catching people doing things right is more effective than catching them doing things wrong. Regularly extend sincere and meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation in all directions throughout our company.