Our company is in the process of further defining its core values. At times we have been the shoe makers children and put all our effort into our clients and not enough into ourselves; going barefoot.
This is a big mistake so we are making working on the business part of our business.
A lot of things may be important to you and your organization but certain things define you, say what you stand for, and what you won't tolerate.
Sometimes you are not quite where you want to be. No time like the present to start moving there.
This an evolutionary process. You define what you think they are and then test them over time to make sure people understand them and they truly are the most important values you have.
These are our core values as defined in our Manifast software tool.
The biggest issue is communications and clarity. These statements all mean something clear to me. However, to another person, they may be interpreted differently.
In Manifast we allow you to expand on these in your Company Culture.
To come up with your core values you can:
- Interview your team,
- Conduct surveys,
Of course the business owners have the final say. Just be prepared to educate, reinforce and if required, let people who don't get behind them find a place where they will be happier.
The key with core values is how they translate into business practices.
Number 2, "Deliver more in value than we take in payment" is actually Law 1 from "The Go-Giver" by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I chose to use it as is rather than rewrite it. For further clarification, I can make reading the book mandatory.
The thing about business is it is personal. Do what works for you and your organization. No need to reinvent the wheel. Save innovation for where it matters; you only have so much time.
So translating number 2 (Law 1) into practice means that we evaluate every product and service to maximize the value we are delivering. Of course we also have to make a healthy profit. But that is part of the book as well.
Focusing on number 3 is how we can leverage delivering value. It is another concept from a great book, "Be The Best At What Matters Most" by Joe Calloway.
It also permeates through our entire marketing, sales and client experience stack. I would argue it also means the same for internal services such as finance and administration. Take it one step further and it means every employee should be focused on delivering more in value than they take in pay (and other overhead costs).
Don't be afraid of making mistakes in this process.
But you can change things and move on. Improve.
Be afraid about being wishy-washy on what matters in your business; your core values included.
Being clear always makes it easier over the long term.