Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
~ Peter Drucker
What are core values?
The core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong; they can help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals; and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide. ~ yourdictionary.com
Why do they matter?
A successful strategic planning outline typically looks like this:
Vision – a “prophetic” statement that envisions success as if it already exists
Mission – the actions we take to achieve our vision
Objectives – key outcomes, set within a given time frame (usually 1-5 years) that move our organization toward its ultimate vision
Goals – Sometimes also called strategies; under each objective, a set of markers (goals) is identified that will facilitate the achievement of the outcome
Actions – specific details of who will do what when, engineering the steps from current state to desired state.
This is a great framework with a proven track record. It has only one glaring flaw: if you are not purposeful and intentional about your organizational culture, you may end up in a position where, as the old timer said to the traveler: “You can’t get there from here.”
Every organization has a brand, whether you mean to or not. Your organization’s brand is not your logo and letterhead. It is not your slogan, tag line or signature product or service. Your brand is your reputation. It is what people say about you when you’re out of earshot. It is the feeling people get, and what they come to expect, when they interact with your organization. An organization’s culture becomes its reputation, which becomes its brand.
When an organization’s leadership does not set, regularly articulate, and steward a culture founded in a bedrock of immovable, non-negotiable positive ideals, it runs the risk of being overrun by negative forces. When internal culture becomes toxic, achieving the organizational objectives becomes exceeding difficult, if not impossible. And it can be a long, tough road back to organizational health. Furthermore, in business, a toxic culture significantly impacts your bottom line, costing your business real dollars in staff turnover, low productivity and lost opportunity.
Simply put, some kind of values are on display in your business or organization. You’re either going to design your culture, or have it set by default.
For all of these reasons, as part of the strategic planning work I do, I strongly recommend that the organization engage in a core values exercise.
In the core values workshop, we will:
- Explore and define the top 3-4 values that are most meaningful to us
- Identify the actions we will take to make these values “live” in our organization, including:
- How we communicate, both internally and externally
- How we make decisions (including hiring and advancement)
- How we manage difficult situations
These core values should then be integrated into your organization’s overarching strategic plan.
Danikloo can help!
Even if your business or organization is not undertaking a strategic planning process at this time, it’s worth your while to set your core values now, and begin incorporating them into your daily work life.