As we continue to march our way into the new year by revisiting the 5 V’s we take the time to look at the Core Values. The Values of your organization need to be the foundation of every decision, transaction, strategy, and tactic.
It cannot be emphasized enough that without Core Values at the very root of your business efforts, your organization is kind of like flying a plane without any type of directional system. Each choice made by the pilot is solely based on their individual instincts and personal values which may or may not be aligned with the organization’s purpose, vision, values, etc. The path by which the business arrives at future destinations is governed not by the business strategic plan or monthly goals but is overly influenced by personal influences and nuances.
When interacting with leaders and having discussions about values, most of them will initially indicate they have some values, etc. As the discussion digs deeper, it becomes apparent that at some point in the history of the organization and during some planning session some brief time was given to grab some words. You wrote them on paper, put them on posters, hung them around the building, and called the exercise complete.
A few things to emphasize here – 1) They called the exercise complete. Meaning they did the process but by no means have they woven the values into every aspect of their organization’s growth and success. 2) The words on paper and posters were never really tested for validity or application to the business culture. 3) As a result, the culture has an artificial set of guidance principles that many in the organization likely do not use for decision making let alone know they exist. For these and other reasons, many organizations dismiss the importance of having core values and even look at the process of investing in genuine core values as a waste of time.
As you read this you might be one of those leaders who have dismissed the “Soft” stuff as immaterial to the success of your organization. Yet on the backside, you struggle with employee and customer retention and net profits and wonder why everyone can’t be on the same page walking in the same direction. Why do all the decisions you want to delegate keep being made differently than the way you would make them?
Over the past 30+ years of working with business owners, leaders, small and medium business executives, and many other businesspeople of influence, I can personally attest that once they let down their resistance guard and authentically embrace core values as a foundational tool to build their business upon, they move from pushing a business uphill to growing a business into a real asset.
This week your challenge is to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Decide if you have contributing Core Values or not. Is everyone on board with what they are and how they MUST impact the future of the organization? A good test for yourself is to get out a blank piece of paper and write down your core values in priority order. Then based on you having them posted somewhere in the building go compare your list to the published list. You will have your first piece of evidence as to the degree to which your Core Values are part of your future success. Once that is done, do the same exercise with your leaders in a meeting. Find out how close or far apart they are from the organization’s desired Core Values alignment.
It is never too late to stop kidding yourself about the criticality of strong well integrated Core Values into the foundation of your business success. Now is the time to reach out to a Promise Guide at JKL Associates and schedule a complimentary call about how to infuse Core Value foundational success into your business asset. Give us a call in MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246
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