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The Core Values of your Organization

The Core Values of your Organization

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The Core Values of your Organization

Words like company values, competencies and nowadays, purpose, have never seized to be buzzwords in most business conversations.  Purpose, Competencies and Values form the core of an organisation, just as back-, oblique- and abdominal muscles form the core of our bodies.

This article focuses on Core Values, where they fit in in the One-Page Strategic Plan (OPSP), the role of the leadership team and the discovery of the Core Values of your company.

If your company is ready to grow, whether by scaling up or through acquiring, it is important to have clear Core Values bedded down.

What are the Core Values of an Organization?

Core Values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. They are guiding principles that dictate behavior.  They help people understand the difference between right and wrong.

Core Values form part of the DNA of a company.

Furthermore, Core Value are

  • 3 to 8 phrases (not only words!) that provide the final “should” and “shouldn’t” test for all behaviors and decisions by everyone in the organization.
  • They guide all decision-making within the company, especially as the company grows, as well as during difficult or conflict situations.
  • They are the rules and boundaries that define the company’s culture and personality.

Where do Values fit in the One-Page Strategic Plan?

Values, Purpose and Competencies anchor the left side of the One-Page Strategic Plan.  They represent the heart and soul of the organisation.  Values, Purpose and Competencies form the core of the organisation. Without a strong core, the organization risks instability and inability to grow.

The Leadership Team and Values

As mentioned before, the Core Values guide all the behaviors and decisions by everyone in the firm. However, it is especially important that all exec’s and managers lead by example, making sure their behaviors and decisions align with the Values.

This CoLAB blog article contains 10 practical ways for leaders to reinforce the Core Values of their companies.

DISCOVER the Core Values of your Organization

Defining your company’s Core Values is a DISCOVERY process, not the creation of a list of nice-to-haves.  Too much time and money are spent by companies to figure out their values, only to end up with a generic list of clichés like honesty, integrity, teamwork, and customer service. The company culture is more unique and has much more power than this!

An excellent example of the Core Values of a company, is that of Gazelles:

  • Practice what we preach
  • Nothing less than ecstatic customers
  • First class for less
  • Honor intellectual capitalists
  • Everyone an entrepreneur
  • Never, ever, ever give up

One of Disney’s Core Values is “Preservation and control of the Disney magic”. Values are not always feel-good phrases. They are neither good nor bad. They just are. The key is to articulate and live them accurately.

Once you have a starting list of values, don’t print them on posters or put them on the company website (yet). Let the Values bake for a year (yes, that long!). Test their validity at the next several quarterly planning sessions. Look out for examples where the leadership team, as well as the employees, have lived the Values. If there are many examples, then it will most likely become a Core Value. If there aren’t plenty examples, then it is most likely a wish-list item.

CoLAB, Core Values and the One-Page Strategic Plan

At CoLAB, we have a great half-day workshop to help you identify and implement the Core Values of your organisation.  It can be done online or in person (if logistically possible).  Connect with us – it would be a privilege to engage with you.  Send an email to ingrid at trustcolab dot com, or book a 20-minute, obligation-free call with Barend HERE.

Our CEO, Barend Cronjé, talks more about Core Values HERE.

To get access to our Profit Improvement Framework, click HERE.

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