Peloton: living the values on the shopfloor
Culture is at its most authentic furthest away from the C-Suite. If your values are not wholehearted, are not driven into every action, then they will simply not reach that far. If you genuinely have a values-driven culture, it will hold true at that point. So I am always curious to see how brands which talk a good values game come to life at street level. And it was with that in mind that I visited the Peloton concession in Harrods.
I'm a self-confessed Peloton groupie. It intrigues me that a bike with a computer screen delivering filmed exercise sessions can create such a consuming sense of community; how their trainers feel somewhere between friends and superstars. It's an extraordinarily engaging platform and a responsibility rests on the shoulders of their real world brand representatives to carry that magic formula through into their own customer interactions.
Ejona and Rodrigo (left) are Experts at the Peloton Harrods concession and between them they gave me a bike fitting - the subtle adjustments that impact your performance - and introduced me to the tread. Around that we chatted for 45 minutes about working for Peloton. They had both moved to Peloton from another iconic American brand, with low expectations of a true culture on the basis of that experience. What that brand said was not what it did, Ejona told me. Peloton, however, has been a different experience for them as team members.
Here are Peloton's values:
Put Members First
Operate with a bias for action
Empower teams of smart creatives
Be The Best Place To Work
Together we go far
It's a pretty strong set of values. They are clear and action-oriented; they are phrased to ensure they can be shared and used to help decision making, they are not far from the language of normal people, there aren't too many of them (number 4 is relatively new), and they feel bespoke.
Without knowing my work, Rodrigo told me that he likes all the values, and the ones he finds most useful are 'Put members first' and 'Together we go far'. If he needs to make a decision about something, he said, he'll land on the side of the member because of that value.
What else struck me was how confident both of them were to be themselves, to talk in an informed, helpful and relaxed way. Their enthusiasm for the product shone out, they were excited to show me the facilities built into their area of the store; it was clear that they felt comfortable expressing their opinions and views.
That, there, is a values-driven culture. To have great people and give them the tools to shine. To bring to them people who are slightly in love with the brand, and create the physical and emotional space in which the connection felt for that brand by its customers and team members can be stoked through the interaction. I walked away from it more impressed by Peloton; it will make a superb case study for workshops.