Here’s the takeaway: Finding your organization’s inward-facing core values is crucial to establishing your company culture.
Your core values will define who you are as an organization. When you’ve identified those values, you can hire, fire, review, reward, and reprimand based on those attributes. When I work with leadership teams, we focus on identifying the top 3-7 most important core values that represent your company. You can read more about the process of doing that here.
When we work on figuring out what those attributes are for your company, I ask teams to think of these values as “inward-facing.” An inward-facing value means that it isn’t a tag line. This is not a marketing piece. This value matters inside the company. Maybe you’ll eventually put this value on your company bumper stickers if you truly in your heart-of-hearts believe it, own it, and live it. For now, we focus on what this value means for your company internally.
I have a client I work with, and one of their core values is GSDS: Get Stuff Done Safely. So for them, it’s important that when they sit down to interview someone, that potential employee lives this value. We went through the process of identifying their core values by identifying what values already existed within their current staff. We talked about who the people were on their team, and what they liked about them. Eventually, we got to the point where we had a few employees and we wanted to specify what it was, exactly, that made those people so great. After going through this process, one of the executives shrugged his shoulders, took a deep breath and threw up his hands and said, “You know what I like about that guy? He gets shit done!” And that, right there, is an important moment. When you can reach the point of being able to say what exactly it is that you appreciate about your employees, those qualities will become into inward-facing values. These will help your business do exactly what it’s best at.
First, discover an inward-facing set of core values. From there, if you want to, you can introduce them to the world.
If your company’s core values are unclear, reach out anytime and I’d be happy to help. No obligations, no expectations.