More on 1800-Got-Junk’s company culture – “The Painted Picture of 2008”

Brian just shared this document with all participants of the Burda Digital Ventures / W Media Ventures event last Friday and I thought it would be worthwhile sharing this with a larger audience.

The Painted Picture of 2008

The best way to ensure the future happens is to create it first in our minds. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK? we commit to this picture as though it’s already happened. Our Painted Picture serves to create the vivid mental image of what 1-800-GOT-JUNK? will look like, feel like, and act like on December 31, 2008.

The 1-800-GOT-JUNK? vision will be achieved by living our mission each and every day: To make the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional. Our 2008 focus is to create a lean & keen company that is ready to springboard into the next wave of fast, efficient growth. We will have a solid financial and operational platform that will allow us to continue our journey ‘to a billion.’ We will achieve an absolute minimum 20% growth in world-wide revenues with a 20% profit margin. We will start the year with a clear, well defined four-pillar strategy that covers the areas of Growth, People, Profits, and Service.

Brand Presence

Our BHAG is to become one of the world’s most admired and visible consumer service brands, by consistently delivering ‘wow experiences’ to everyone we serve (and maximizing profit per household). We’ve made great progress this year. We’ve figured out how to ‘swim down’how to use the size of our network to move together in one B.I.G. direction as a brand. We’re more aligned as individuals across the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? family than we’ve ever been before. We’ve created remarkable power across our network, across the media and across our customer base that has solidified and strengthened our first mover advantage in all three countries we service. Never before have we had such clear strategy, direction, and focus.

People, Culture, Values and Spirit

We are proud of the statement, “It’s all about people.” Our It’s All About People (IAAP) Committee has helped bring back the spirit of the ‘old’ Junktion – a culture where you can feel the spirit, the fun, and the intensity, as well as the care for one another. Our engaged, high performing team is ready to win awards again as a top ranking employer in Canada. We have worked hard to make it all about the right people and treating people right. With every decision we make, we first consider our people.

Through the introduction of a rigorous performance management system, we now have a culture where change is never a surprise. Our culture is a results-driven, ‘work hard, play hard’ culture, where personal accountability is a system-wide priority. Our hiring systems attract nothing but the best for the positions we offer, attracting team members who are proud to be a part of our vision. We are proud of our high ratings on our two key people metrics: Employee Longevity and Employee Engagement. We are an enviable organization executing with PIPE (Passion, Integrity, Professionalism, and Empathy). We are a driven team and we only recruit and retain people at all levels of the company who share the same underlying values and the same incredible excitement towards building something special.

We encourage every member of the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? team to create, share, and become involved in the opportunities of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Members of the Junktion have shared once again in the profits that have resulted from our hard work and aligned efforts.

The Junktion

We’re in a high-energy, bold, visual, space that we’re all proud to call the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? home office. The Junktion is back to its blue and green look, and feels reminiscent of the ‘old’ Junktion. Every single member of the Junktion gathers daily at Huddle to share good news, provide Top 3 updates, and highlight missing systems, obstacles and opportunities.

The Sales Center is an integral part of the Junktion. The Sales Center floor has its own exciting, fast paced culture similar to that of a Wall Street brokerage house. Customers are wowed by the well matched level of energy and enthusiasm delivered from frontline team members who conduct business in three languages. This 24/7 inbound and outbound sales center continues to convert more jobs at a record rate. Web-based orders now account for one third of all orders created.

The newest addition to the Junktion, our WAR Room, is a centrally located, visual nerve center vital in monitoring our growth. Timely, accurate, and relevant information is posted and updated in this room daily: Strategies, Goals, Objectives, current org charts, key metrics by business area, and a list of key decisions or actions taken. All WAR meetings take place in this special room where the progress of all objectives and action items are projected on the wall in real time.


We are a company of leaders. Insiders and outsiders alike notice our clear, decisive, focused, accountable and passionate leadership at all levels of the company. Our Leadership Team, which now includes a President, demonstrates a level of passion and commitment that most companies could only dream of. Our new President/COO is an exceptional leader with proven experience in building remarkable businesses. Our President/COO has brought invaluable experience to the table that has helped to lead, develop, and prepare our people and our strategy for the next wave of growth. We have used our Rigorous Performance Management Process as a tool to develop our leaders. Our leadership and cascading alignment propel our flywheel forward: bigger and better without weakening our foundation.

Franchise Partner Profitability/Success

We recognize first and foremost that we would not be where we are today without the profitability of our Franchise Partners. Profits are essential to their long-term sustainability and success. Key decisions are made considering the potential impact they would have on our Franchise Partners’ profitability. We take great pride in our Field Team’s intense focus this past year working to help each Franchise Partner achieve their growth and profitability goals. Our efforts have paid off as we continue to achieve top rankings in our Franchise Partner Satisfaction Rating.

Customer Service

Our mission is to make the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional. With this new clarity of purpose we’ve taken big steps towards ensuring that we leave every customer an enthusiastic advocate of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? We finally understand who our customers are, why they use and why they don’t. We’ve completed significant research and analysis resulting in a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs, attitudes, and behaviors so we can engage with them more effectively and consistently deliver exceptional service. To accomplish our goal of Improved Service Delivery we’ve benchmarked our wow service levels and we monitor our Net Promoter Index daily (by franchise and system-wide). We’ve created the systems to track and respond to customer feedback promptly. Our relentless commitment to the QFAs of On-Time Service, Up-Front Rates, Clean, Shiny Trucks, and Friendly, Uniformed Drivers is lived by each and every franchise. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it that has become important and as a result, referrals are abundant.

Measuring and Monitoring Growth

What gets measured gets done. We are a metrics-driven organization measuring the results of our marketing, our Partners and our people. Our dashboard reports serve as tools for better leadership, management, and decision making. Each day our CEO gets ‘An Inspect What You Expect’ Daily Dashboard allowing for a tighter finger on the pulse of our growth. Our reporting is simple to read and easy to digest.

Levels of alignment and accountability within the Junktion are like you’ve never seen. The status of all Goals, Objectives and Action Items are reviewed each and every week through an alignment application known as TOPS. Each team, from the Leadership Level down, has a tight pulse on progress. All weekly WAR meetings start with a TOPS review. All meetings have been properly prepared for with clear purposes, outcomes, and agendas. Each meeting concludes with a clear, “Who will do what by when?” With each meeting and decision we move closer towards achieving our shared vision and our SMART goals and objectives.

We are very fiscally fit: we are cash flow positive, we continue to be profitable (20% margin), and we have ‘rainy day’ funding in place. Our payables are current and we’re in excellent standing with all vendors and suppliers. We have a strong three-year strategic plan in place that provides clear strategic and financial direction for North American and international expansion. Australia now has on-the-ground support and huge PR momentum that continues to help drive both junk removal and franchise sales.


Communication is a major priority. Our dedicated Communications Department ensures all communications throughout the system are clear, concise, timely and accurate. All communications are executed consistently with our values of PIPE.

Our dedicated Franchise Advisory Council is a vital component of our success, helping to identify key frustrations and then working with us to help systematically tackle, solve, and clearly communicate the results to the system. The FAC plays an important part in the crafting and review of every important system-wide communiqué.


Online media has become a massive opportunity for us to generate brand awareness and sales. We now proudly place amongst the top three positions through natural search (Google and Yahoo) in every major market we service. Franchise Partners everywhere have opted into topping up their Paid Search accounts to garner top positions across paid search. We have created massive buzz through our leveraged efforts on online portals, blogs, and social networking sites.

The media has helped us gain national exposure that most brands couldn’t afford to buy. The 1-800-GOT-JUNK? story has become many different stories each with their own well-targeted angle. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? continues to make regular appearances on top home and garden shows, morning talk shows, primetime news programs, top magazines, and online portals, news sites and customer review sites around the world.


Systems are a vital component to the growth of all facets of the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? brand. Working towards complete systematization of all components of the business has proven to promote both efficiency and profitability. Never before has a company woven so tightly into its culture the philosophy of ‘people don’t fail—systems do.’ Our search for missing systems and continuous improvement is never ending. The time has been taken to ensure that best practices have been documented, shared and followed system-wide.


Success is about winning, contributing, feeling recognized, and having fun! We work together as a team to ensure that we achieve our personal goals as well as support each other in achieving our collective vision of creating a globally admired brand. Our teams execute with excellence creating exceptional experiences for everyone we serve. We practice Focus, Faith, and Effort in everything we do. 2008 was about frequent wins and celebrations—celebrating the fact that we truly have made the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional.

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