Values are all about self-reflection.
The good news is: you have complete control over your corporate values. There are few things in business over which you can claim to have full control. But values is one of them and that makes it essential to your strategy.
The bad news is: we often get lost in wishful thinking. When building values, we can get caught up in what we want to be, over what we really are.
Both of these have a place in your Value Statement, it is simply important to know the difference.
Who you are
Start with who you are now – or your Mission Statement.
Determine what problem you solve, for whom and in what way. And also explain why you solve that particular problem, in this particular way.
This is the statement of your starting point and your main mission as a business. It creates an expectation of service and behavior for your clients, as well as for your employees, investors, and all stakeholders.
Where you are going
Know who you want to be down the line – five and ten years from now.
How will the market think of you then? How will you be serving clients? How will people describe your business? What sort of people will work for you?
Project your mission into the future and determine what you want to become. A lot will change for you over the course of five years, let alone ten. The purpose of this vision is to direct your decision making, and to know what has to adapt and when.
How you will get there
The key to autonomy is boundaries. You can let your resources work to their own strengths so long as they understand the boundaries of behavior.
Your guiding principles determine the standards of service, behavior and operations. This is important for the allocation of all resources, but in particular for your people.
Train your people as to whether they can ad-lib, so to speak, and where they must conform to the company values. This should take the form of knowing how much they can promise, where they are allowed to over-deliver, which points are non-negotiable and the level of service and communication they are expected to provide.
Get team input
Feedback and input in this process are essential.
It is the only way you can ensure that your values are real and realistic, and that your people can truly work to their strengths within those principles you have set. This will also ensure you buy-in from everyone involved.
Use your values as your guide and your direction point. Reference them regularly to keep on track.
Have you written out your value statement yet? For a guided session to create your Mission, Vision and Principle, contact me to book a workshop for your management team.