Here’s the takeaway: Identify your organization’s core values by discovering within your own employees.

When we go through the process of creating and identifying an organization’s core values, those values come from the behavior that drives your company culture. They are who you are; core values are the soul of the organization. The nice thing is that they are within your organization, they just have to be discovered. They’re already within the organization. People know what your values are. You just have to go through the process of figuring them out, making them crystal clear so that everyone understands them in the same way.

We start with the idea of taking a few minutes for the leadership team to identify who the rockstars in their organization are. Who are the people who, if you could clone, would allow you to take over the world? And we start with that.

We go around the room and list them all out on a white board. There typically ends up being two or three people who really shine. Then, I have my leadership teams take a few more minutes and go through and identify: What exactly it is about those people that makes them great? What are the top five to seven attributes that you love and admire about these specific people?

Then, we put those attributes up on a board and begin to cluster them with other, similar words and then we go through a process to narrow them down to where we have 3-7 core groups of words.. These qualities are where your organization’s core values are going to come from. From this point I like to go through and ask the members of the team what this group of words really mean to them and it is often within these discussion the companies Core Values come to light. REMEMBER, The values come from people that you already trust, love, and value. Whatever it is about those people that you love, that’s who you are. If your organization is all about just making money, you’ll value the people who are really good at that. If it’s about being reliable or compassionate or whatever else, you’ll value the people who have those attributes already.

Those values are how you define who you are as an organization. Once you identify those values, you can then hire, fire, review, reward, and reprimand based on those attributes.

When I work with leadership teams, we focus on discovering attributes that are inward-facing, not necessarily outward-facing. This doesn’t mean they are mutually exclusive but you have to start looking in, first. If you think your organization could benefit from discovering your core values, reach out anytime. I’m here to help, with no obligations.

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