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The Value of Values

Values are a hot topic right now at Miller Inspiration. Namely, how do we infuse a consistent, memorable, meaningful and actionable set of values within a company that is involved in wide-ranging endeavors and has 10,000+ employees spread across the country?

Frankly, we are still trying to answer that question. The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies didn’t start as a Group; it started with one man and a one Toyota dealership in 1979. It grew into two dealerships, then four, and now, 53. Along the way it added an NBA franchise, a chain of multi-screen movie theatre complexes, a lending company, an advertising agency and a world-class racetrack, among other businesses.

In short, the Group grew in patchwork fashion, and the company’s culture­—its mission, vision and values—developed in much the same way. This is likely true of many companies. When Bill Gates was tinkering in his garage in the early 70s, he probably wasn’t thinking about how he would shape the corporate culture of a global software company. When Walt Disney opened his 3-man studio in Hollywood in the 1920s, he likely didn’t put much thought into how he’d pass his personal values on to deckhands working the Disney Cruise Line.

At some point, both Microsoft and Disney had to take one individual’s principles and develop them into a teachable culture that would transcend that individual and resonate through generations. That is the task for Miller Inspiration. It’s a big job, and an important one. And thanks to Larry and Gail Miller, we have a strong foundation to build on.


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