Understanding Business Values, Creating Them, Owning Them and Sticking To Them

We hear so often that to establish and build a successful organisation, you need a plan, a budget, and some core values. I’m going to unpack what this typically means, and what this has meant for us, personally. 
I’m really looking forward to this one, and I hope you can get something of value out of our experiences.

Cutting straight to the chase, what are business core values?

Business core values are a set of company principles that guide the shaping of team culture and delivery of services and/or products to its customers.

If you’re a fan of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, or at least the concept itself, it leads us to understand that an individual must first know their own deep reasons for living life, to then be able to inform the deep reasons for leading an organisation, department or team.

That is – why do you exist? And therefore, why does your organisation exist?

What benefit does your organisation provide to mankind, why is it important to you, and why should it be important to your team?

After some inspiring podcast-listening in 2019 (Entre Leadership), I took pen to paper (well, it was a marker to a whiteboard, actually), searched my soul, and crafted a set of core company values.

Our company values are:

  1. Valuing People First
  2. Thinking Bigger
  3. Getting Better

 

  1. Valuing People First encompasses that people matter before anything else. It speaks directly to integrity, honesty, trust, encouragement, availability, support, and the list goes on. In everything we do, we try and ask ourselves; are we valuing people first here? Are we delivering on what we said we would deliver or more? Are we quoting appropriately to what we really believe we are bringing to the table? Are we treating each other in a way that enables us all to grow together?

 

  1. Thinking Bigger stops us from being complacent. Here’s the thing about growth – things that are healthy, grow, and when we as people are a part of things (like a business) that grows, we have the tendency to believe it’s because of what we have done, to make it that way. We believe deep down that if we want it to keep growing, we need to keep doing the same things. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? WRONG. This is partially true, but only in the short term. Healthy things grow, but healthy things also adapt. They take on adversity and change accordingly. They seek new areas to be in. They don’t confine themselves to their own parameters. In everything, we endeavour to ask ourselves, what else can we do to get outside of the box on this one? Am I being ‘comfortable’ with this strategy? Am I generating a mediocre creative concept?

 

  1. Getting Better leads on perfectly from Thinking Bigger. Because to think bigger, one will likely get better. It’s hard to adventure into uncharted territory, stretch beyond your limits, endure adversity by choice, and not become someone better for having done so. 

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We are getting better by choosing to think and act bigger while valuing people first at all times. One would say that our company values equation is:

Valuing People First + Thinking Bigger = Getting Better.

Now, this is all well and good for me – because this, at my core, is what makes me who I am, the person I want to be, and the company I want to be a part of. It’s helped give our team a sense of clarity around what unifies us, or at least what we aspire to unify us.

We are all made different, and uniquely wonderful in our own right. You can go about your busy days and hustle from one meeting to the next, but I encourage you to consider figuring out your values, to see if you may find some further clarity for your organisation, too.

I want to encourage you to carve out some time to craft your own core values, and email them to me, or someone else. Writing them down and sending them to someone is a small act that will go a long way in what it means to you to actually own them, and start to see them taking shape and guiding your decisions ongoing.

I printed ours on a piece of paper in big fat letters and stuck them to the wall in the office. It was a small gesture and action, but it’s yielded great clarity, unity and sets the bar for us, every single day.