I have been thinking about core values recently. Why, you ask? Because I heard about an occurrence in which a team blatantly disregarded one of their values. The situation caused me to wonder under what conditions the team ignored the core value.
Core values are not a marketing slogan; they are not a list of “feel good” words written by a group of employees. A company’s core values represent who they are, and show how they treat each other, their customers, and their business partners.
So, here is a test that can help you determine if each of your core values truly defines your company’s culture:
- If you were to start a new organization, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry?
- Would you want your organization to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future, no matter what changes occur in the outside world?
- Would you want your organization to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage – even if in some instances the environment penalized the organization for living this core value?
- Do you believe that those who do not share this core value – those who breach it consistently – simply do not belong in your organization?
- Would you personally continue to hold this core value even if you were not rewarded for holding it?
- Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?
- If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?
These are tough questions that require soul searching and deserve considerable thought.
However, your company and its core values deserve this level of scrutiny and must serve as a light to guide all of your decisions. You cannot make a “just this once” exception. Staying viable and valuable as a company requires that everyone in your organization live and breathe your core values from the moment they step on the job (and, ideally, when they are off the job, as well).
Interested in how to determine what your company stands for, and how to integrate your values into all your decisions? I can help. I have years of experience guiding organizations towards making more sustainable aligned decisions based on what they see as truly important. Contact me using the consult form below to set up an initial consultation. I can’t wait to talk!