Documents such as Vision & Values are rare these days in corporate America. Most companies have them, of course, but few as long as we’ve had ours. Fewer have resisted fads and stayed faithful to their founding language. Only a handful have made measurable progress guided by the same values toward an unchanging vision not just for a year or two but almost two decades. Our progress has not been perfect. We learn just as much from failure (perhaps more) as we do from success. Companies are made up of human beings who make mistakes. When we make them we admit them, learn from them, then we keep moving forward with even more understanding, guided by the same values toward the same vision.
We first published our Vision & Values in the early 1990s as Wells Fargo’s predecessor, Norwest Corporation. Our industry, our world and our company have changed a lot since then. We’ve grown from a network of small Midwestern banks into a national company with a global reputation. We’re the product of hundreds of combinations. Tens of thousands of our team members today trace their heritage to our ancestor companies — from as large as Norwest, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, First Union, CoreStates Financial, SouthTrust, Golden West Financial, A.G. Edwards, First Interstate, Crocker Bank, United Banks of Colorado, First Security, Acordia and First United Bank Group to as small as Comfort Bancshares of Comfort, Texas, and Little Mountain Bancshares of Monticello, Minnesota. Big or small, each influenced and strengthened our culture. Each brought us new geographies or capabilities and inspiring stories, and then each found common cause in our Vision & Values.