Core values are important. Can your company articulate yours?

Posted on Categories Brandonomics, Core Values, Culture/Employee Engagement, Savage Thinking

The CEO and founding partner for Sendero Consulting visits with Savage’s Bethany Andell to talk about the importance of having strong core values, and then demonstrating them everyday.


Bethany:  Welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at tops brands and their strategies.  I’m Bethany Andell, President of Savage Brands, and my guest today is Bret Farrar, CEO of Sendero Consulting. Welcome back, Bret.

Bret:  Thank you Bethany, great to be here.

Bethany:  Absolutely. Today I really want to talk about values and behaviors; I know that that is a subject that you hold near and dear to your heart. What are the core values of Sendero?

Bret:  So our core values, we have five of them, the first two are more foundational; they are integrity and respect. The next three are passion, shared success and higher reaching.

Bethany:  That’s great. What – process is probably the wrong word, but how did you go about really articulating what those values needed to be for the firm?

Bret:  Well early on the values of the firm really were just not stated, they were what we believed and we had a small team and everybody was very tight, we’d known each other for a long time. But after 4 years we took our entire company offsite – which was 10 – 15 folks at that time, I can’t remember exactly – and we spent an entire day developing our core values. And what’s important to me about that is that it meant that the values didn’t represent just what I believed or the leadership team believed, it’s what we all believed were those values that really differentiated us and were things that we wanted to hold ourselves to.

Bethany:  How has that affected your hiring process?

Bret:  So it’s affected our hiring process, and all of our processes, in multiple ways, but first what we had to do was we had to translate our values to behaviors because values really are internal to you, you can’t know somebody’s values by looking at them, but we really believe that behaviors are an external manifestation of internal beliefs or values. So we define those behaviors, and through those define what we are looking for in terms of what was acceptable behavior at Sendero.

And so in our recruitment process we’ve always practiced critical behavioral interviewing techniques, but we primarily looked at that just for the consulting behaviors we were looking for, around what we do, and we’ve since expanded that also to look for the cultural behaviors, the core value behaviors if you will, that we were looking for as well and that allows us to look for them. But we’ve taken those behaviors and infused those into all of our processes, not just our recruitment processes as well.

Bethany:  Sure, can you give me a couple of examples of behavior and how it ties into one of your core values?

Bret:  So one of our values obviously is passion and so we went through and defined specific behaviors for each of those and one of them is to seek knowledge. And so we defined about 5 or 6 different behaviors for that particular value and for that one particular one of seek knowledge, we’ve identified – and it’s for each of the behaviors actually – but for this one particular we’ve defined about 4 specific examples of what you could do in a consulting situation that would indicate that you’re seeking knowledge.  And then 3 to 4 examples of what you would do that would indicate you don’t seek knowledge. Because I think it’s important to also define here are the behaviors that don’t align with who we are and what we believe, and here are the ones that do.

Bethany:  That’s great. Well Bret thank you so much for being here today. This wraps up our discussion with Bret Farrar of Sendero Consulting and this edition of Brandonomics.

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