515-984-0301

info@addzerosnow.com

Defining Core Values for Emotional Connection

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Oct 01, 2019

Core values always exist, even if we didn’t sit down and create them. They define our behaviors. Analyze the behaviors of a group, and you'll reveal its core values: the attitudes and guiding principles that govern the actions of that group’s culture. And every organization has a culture, whether they openly embrace and shape its core values or not.

Core values are a component of the Discipline of Mission, along with purpose and giving back that, taken together, lead to emotional connection inside and outside your organization.

The core values for your organizational culture are something the company must explicitly create, lead, and manage because they determine how the employees of a company act and behave toward each other and the rest of the world. Core values also enable external audiences like customers, suppliers or investors to understand and value who the company is and for what it stands.

It's important to base your core values on behaviors that are already alive in the organization, rather than rely on aspirational or generic statements. You need to be willing to hire and fire based on them.

Here is how to identify core values in five steps.

Step 1. Identify the five to 12 members of your executive team who influence and impact the company. They must be committed to developing and guiding the culture of the organization.

Step 2. Hold a discussion session to brainstorm about the behaviors of current team members that you want to see everyone imitate; you might come up with dozens of behaviors observed in five to 50 people. Make sure you’re describing specific actions (“tells the truth”) rather than vague adjectives (“honest”).

Step 3. Make a list that describes each of the desired behaviors from Step 2, using behavior-based phrases, such as “communicated orally in a well-organized, courteous, and effective manner,” so people know what the company culture expects from them.

Step 4. Sort the list of behaviors by topic, aiming for a set of six to eight themes.

Step 5. Select a word or short phrase to define each behavioral value, then create a short sentence that names them in terms that are meaningful to your organization. Each phrase is a core value that describes the company’s desired culture, such as: “We make decisions based on our values and our goals.”

When you've identified your core values, you'll be able to live by them every day and implement them into the aspects of the company where they’ll have the most impact on your culture.

To recap, Core values are a component of the Discipline of Mission, along with purpose and giving back that, taken together, lead to emotional connection inside and outside your organization. The core values for your organizational culture are something the company must explicitly create, lead, and manage because they determine how the employees of a company act and behave toward each other and the rest of the world.

We'd love to hear from you. What are the core values you have identified in your company? Thank you for sharing.