When I started out re-imagining a new organization, based on the principles I have learned in life, a lot of names came to mind. But nothing seemed to satisfy my dual need to encapsulate the essence of the enterprise, as well as to sound a way phonetically, that just rolls off the tongue.
I believed the answer may be hidden behind layers of abstraction that I needed to dig through. The enterprise and its core values were not yet clearly defined at the deepest plane. The essence needed to be defined. So I began a self-inquiry, in an attempt to understand clearly, what our vision was.
Self Inquiries are a series of questions, designed to make you go deeper into concepts. So naturally, the first question was of paramount importance, as that would beget the next question that would take me deeper.
The first rule of self-inquiry. As long as your answer can be stated as a statement, that usually is an indicator of a derived concept. Real, true answers, transcend grammar, and can only be felt. A car can be described easily, and the listener will not be surprised when she sees a car for the first time. Yellow, on the other hand, cannot be described in other words, it can be only seen. And no matter how many words like “lighter red” or “greener blue” are used to communicate yellow, it can never be imagined. It’s a primordial concept. We have to dig till the answers are just atomic feelings, which cannot be described in other words. But the first step of our journey begins with the first question.
The first question
What are we looking for when we ask what are the “Core values of the Company”? Is it the kind of people that form the organization? Is it its processes? Or policies? Is it our brand image to the world? All of them, are the right questions. Now since all of them are valid, that means they are not “core enough” questions. Answers to the above questions will derive themselves from the core principles like leaves springing out from a tree. We have to answer “What is the seed of this tree?”, rather than “How does each leaf look like?”
What is it, that truly matters? The DNA, the mitochondria of the company.
What is the seed?
I understood at that point, that this is the primordial question in the investigation. I rejected all sentences that came to my mind and kept trying to feel for the answer. Soon, disconnected feelings began to emerge. I began to give each feeling a word, the closest one that I could find in my limited vocabulary.
Ethics, Compassion, Passion
More words emerged, but they were derivative. Kinship, for instance, is not a fundamental nature. You cannot make two people friends. But get a group of nice people, with a similar hobby/passion together in a room, and they’ll light the house on fire with their sparks. Every other virtue or principle seemed to stem from just those 3 “root” virtues, the answer to the “what is the core?”.
But just words are not enough. They are signposts. You have to define the words. What fundamental emotion do they represent? Can you describe each of them, in a simple, uncomplicated language that can really communicate the “feeling”?
Ethics To play fair, and never cheat. To never put money first, but your conscience first. It’s OK, if others cheat us from time to time, we can choose to not work with them in the future, but we cannot be the cheater, for how will we work with ourselves with a heavy heart? To be fair to yourself, your team, the company, the clients and every one you deal with. To leave no one, short-changed.
Compassion To “really” care, not as a branding exercise, but really care. Care about every one we work with, without making distinctions like employees, investors, supervisors, reports, clients, vendors, support staff, contractors, managers, developers. No. True compassion is universal. You type lightly, even when you are sending an angry email because you don’t want to hurt your keyboard. Not because it has emotions or feelings or sentience, but because, that’s just your nature. That kind of Compassion.
Passion Do you love what you do? Nothing can replace that. No amount of hard work or greed. You will simply never be good, because your heart is not in it. You can give a greedy, money-loving cleaner a million dollars to clean a room, and he’ll “clean” it so good that the room will survive an magnifying lens inspection. You give a cleaner who loves order and symmetry, generous amount of time and just enough money to buy his time fairly, and the room will have a balance that transcends mere absence of dust. You can’t buy that room.
I hope these words have evoked the emotions that we collectively aim to embody and project. This is our nature. Our DNA.
What springs forth from the seed?
We need a name. A name that speaks of our DNA, our essence. A name that is not taken by other companies, and a name that can be purchased as a domain name. Such banality mixed with philosophy never yields good results. But such is life, we sore through the skies to feel free, but have to dig worms from the ground to live. We want to scream our spirit into the name, but it needs to be available as a DNS name.
So what can be the name that can unite heaven and earth?
Maitrī (Sanskrit; Pali: mettā) means benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.
The compassion and universal loving-kindness concept of metta are discussed in the Metta Sutta of Buddhism and is also found in the ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism and Jainism as metta or maitri.
If people are front and center of our business, Maitri should be at our core.
~ Core Maitri ~
That sounds like a good name. Let me check the DNS registry.
Core Maitri is an enterprise software consultancy specializing in Excel-to-Web, AI Integration, and Enterprise Application Development services. Our approach is deeply consultative, rooted in understanding problems at their core and then validating our solutions through iterative feedback.