Carriage Services Owning the Future, Accelerating the Good To Great Journey
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    Carriage’s Story

Carriage's Story

Our Five Guiding Principles

Carriage Services continuously seeks to achieve our Mission Statement of “Being the Best,” and build a high performance company that is built to last. Co-founded in 1991 in Houston, Texas by Mel Payne, Mel has since led Carriage as our only Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Since day one, we have also been guided by our Mission Statement and our Five Guiding Principles:

  • Honesty, integrity and quality in all that we do.
  • Hard work, pride of accomplishment and shared success through employee ownership.
  • Belief in the power of people through individual initiative and teamwork.
  • Outstanding service and profitability go hand-in-hand.
  • Growth of the company is driven by decentralization and partnership.

Our vision, our mission and our guiding principles for Carriage are not negotiable, and never will be. Over time, we have adopted new ideas and frameworks to help us continuously improve while eliminating other practices and concepts that may have kept us from full alignment to our vision and continuous improvement.

These have included some of the following:

  • From our founding in 1991 to 2003, we operated on budgets, which we abandoned in 2004 in favor of our Standards Operating Model. This decision allowed for us to more closely re-align our operating practices with our Five Guiding Principles (especially our beliefs in shared success, employee ownership, the power of people, decentralization and partnership). Without budgets, we have been free to focus on leadership, people, and culture.
  • Shortly thereafter, we adopted concepts from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” and customized them into our culture and practices (i.e. First Who, Then What; Right People in Right Seats, Flywheel Effect).
  • In 2006, Carriage Services adopted Jack Welch’s 4E Leadership Model to identify the required skills necessary for a high performance company.
  • In 2012, we embarked upon a “New Beginning” and launched our “Good to Great” Journey with the idea of achieving continuous and dynamic high performance over time.
  • Also in 2012, we revised our Strategic Acquisition Model to more appropriately align our practices to our vision of partnering with the best remaining independents in strategic markets.
  • In 2015, Carriage Services is better than it ever has been before in our twenty-four year history. However, we plan on and expect to continuously and dynamically improve over time in our mission of “Being the Best.”
Carriage's Story

The culture of our entire company is one of entrepreneurship, high performance leadership, ownership, and partnership both in principle and in practice at every level.

Starting with the foundation that is our Mission Statement and our Guiding Principles, we believe that in constantly practicing our unique culture and executing well our three operating models (Standards, 4E Leadership and Strategic Acquisition Model) will lead to sustained high performance and a company that is built to last.