Find a Business Direction with Core Values (Guest Blog)

BY IT GLUE | September 16, 2016

You value your business, you value your employees, but did you create ground rules and develop core values for your employees? David Reeve says we need them to help guide our teams, and to make decisions. Read more in our new guest blog post:

Why should your brand have core values?

Simply put, core values are the fabric of your brand’s character. They support your purpose through your actions. They are non-negotiable and act like a lighthouse to keep you off the rocks for safe passage. They, alongside your purpose, guide you to make the right decision in all situations, whether in your hiring process, bringing on new clients, new vendors, how you handle difficult situations, or how you celebrate.

Why should anyone care about your brand’s core values?

When you make decisions, the only true measuring stick you have is your core values. If you have not violated any of these in your decision, then you have made the right decision and you can feel good about it. If you have not honored these, then you need to re-think your decision, plain and simple. Your core values are key to your existence. Without them, you are just like everyone else out there. Who wants to be just like everyone else?

Think of your core values with every interaction you have with everyone, every time, everywhere. It will completely transform the way you do business, the way you lead your people, and most importantly it will inspire others.

If you are going to live your core values, you live them always, in all ways, and in every situation.

Creating your core values

When developing your core values, think of the following categories. This way you will have a nice balance within which to operate.

  • People
  • Service
  • Improvement/Introspection, and
  • The business you are in

To me, four is the right number of core values. Why four? Again, four are easy to remember, and if they are easy to remember, it will be easy to keep them alive.

I once toured a well-known brand in the United States, and on one part of the tour, they talked about their core values. I was very excited to hear what they had come up with. To my astonishment, the tour guide proceeded to pull out a piece of paper and read their core values. All ten of them. Ten! After he finished, one of the other tourists asked the guide why he had to read them if they are so core. He did not really have an answer for us other than “they work for us”.

If you have to read your values, they are not core. They are nothing more than a list of values used for marketing purposes, and I am not a fan of that at all. Just like your purpose statement, the simpler the better.

About the Author

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, David loves helping brands build amazing cultures and has a proven track record of success resulting in 50 awards for culture excellence. His new book, Unleash Culture: Discover Greatness Within, is available on Amazon. David spoke about brand culture and storytelling at IT Glue’s Freeing Minds Event in Vancouver on October 5th, 2016.

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