When I started the firm nearly 20 years ago, one of the first decisions I made was to codify the reasons WHY I was doing it. This set of principles became my values statementIncredibly, or maybe not so much, the values that drove me and our pioneers then, drive and unite us now.

Values have always been a motivating and essential element of a successful organization that last over time. However, if they are not reinforced and acted upon, values can become bathroom wall paper.

As we evolve and grow and become more dispersed geographically, our values take on new meaning and elevated importance. One of the commitments I make is to share these values with the firm regularly, introducing them to a whole new crop of pioneers so they can serve as both a beacon for our culture and a GPS for our destination.

The tie that binds us all.

Our values now encompass our vision and mission and reflect the current environment we operate in. I’d like to share what each of these values means and how, woven together, they create a picture of W2O and its philosophical upbringing and operating model. Our WHY, if you will. 

Vision: To make the world a healthier place through marketing communications. Purpose drives everything, and there is nothing more important than your health. It is here that what we do intersects with what society needs.

Mission: Build connections vital to our health as quickly as possible, using data and creativity. Communications and marketing done right build bridges, allowing for readier access to more precise, targeted solutions and expediting and facilitating knowledge exchange. It also defines the leaders.

Being the Best (not the Biggest): It was never my intention to pursue growth for growth’s sake. Rather, the goal was to become a true partner to clients, understanding their business and treating it like our own. And to create nirvana for people looking to innovate and unlock their inner entrepreneur and do their best, career-making work.

Being the Best means a commitment to delivering the highest quality work and results, but also taking risks to innovate with our clients to achieve something greater. To take a consultative approach to our work and to see the marketplace holistically. To apply best-in-class analytics and data insights to every plan and program.                                       

#Make it Happen: It all starts and ends with doing what you say you are going to do. Acting with purpose and committed intent. Being scrappy and failing fast. Breaking down silos and hierarchies. And, above all, delivering with surprise and delight.

 #ChooseHappiness:Love what you do. Get into a job and life you love, whether it’s here or somewhere else!

 #NoAssHoles: Treat each other with respect and expect to be treated the same. Work as one. None of us is entitled to anything. You earn it all by how you show up in the world, and you get what you give.

 #StayFluid:Be flexible. Adapt to every situation. Especially in our ever-changing macro environment.

#DealWithIt: Act like the deadline is now. Bring focused intent to every situation. If it was easy, we wouldn’t need you, so bring up the hard stuff and let’s solve it together ASAP.

#WhySuck: Never be afraid to learn. Always go the extra mile. Make an impact always. Don’t stop at good.

#ThinkGlobal: Healthcare is a global reality but is dealt with locally, so we must balance local with global implications. Think broadly, adapt and act locally.

#LetsHang: Reach out for help, listen to and learn from each other, and seek to collaborate in the best interest of clients and the work. Spend quality time together and treat each other like the family you always wanted. Be part of the solution. We are always #BetterTogether.

Our values are the belief system that underpin our entire business model. They are meant to illuminate how we think, how we conduct ourselves, and how we engage with each other and the world around us. They are authentic and sincere as much as they are functional.

After nearly 20 years in business, I can honestly say our values are as relevant now as a company with 800 employees and counting as they were when competitors referred to my firm as “Jim and the Marin Mommies.”

That’s because when they are the right ones, time is irrelevant and goes by really fast and is way more fun.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Healthcare pages.

We’re hiring! Check out our Culture & Careers page.