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Crafting Values That Work

Posted on Categories Conscious Leadership, Core Values, Leadership, PurposeTags

Values are a critical element to a brand or culture’s foundation.

These directional words and phrases take us out of the more lofty ideas of what our business is here to do, and put things into more human terms. In the values section of our Foundational Statements, we make clear the characteristics we must possess or noble principles we must uphold to make our purpose real. Values are the cornerstone for hiring the right people, developing our current employees and leading our organization. 

Many executives come to our process with values already in mind. Generally, these corporate values are uninspiring and unclear. Also, many leaders and organizations use the same words over and over again. Terms like integrity, teamwork and respect are more than common. They’re cliche. They’re table stakes. They’re outcomes, more so than values. And what’s more is that it’s difficult for employees to understand how to be these things at work everyday. How does one “be teamwork?” Or “Be respect?” Surely these are important ideas for any organization to espouse, but what’s more important is what characteristics must our employees show up with to make sure teamwork and respect are inherent in our organization? 

This thinking often leads to stickier and more specific language within the values statements. When led to think more deeply about the ways in which the ideal employee would show up to work everyday, ideas like teamwork and respect transform into fresh, clear and energizing statements. With such compelling statements, we can be sure the values are lived out in practice on a daily basis, and don’t just exist in a memo or on a poster somewhere.

To see strong values in practice, we invite you to look at these examples. You’ll notice that each set of values are things people can show up to work as everyday. The words used are inspirational, sticky and clear about what the organization really stands for.

Savage Brands

Smart

Fresh

Human

Bash & Co.

Tuned in

Turned on

Trued up

Hotchkiss Insurance

We are Agile

We are Loyal

We are Passionate

Something we try to keep in mind when formulating values is whether they are aspirational or not. Most often, we do get to values that resonate with the existing culture. But when we add purpose to the mix, it may become clear that there are certain principles that we need to embody in the future that we don’t today. These new values make it possible for us to reach our purpose in the world, and will certainly transform the kind of culture we exist within.

Values must inspire each person to live into the aspects of themselves we most need in our organizations to do our work. The words we choose must be clear and compelling; the values themselves must align with our purpose statement. When values are formulated in this way, we can ensure they are manifested everyday in every person, ensuring that we make our intended impact within our organizations and on the world.

Featured Resource:

Learn the eight critical mindshifts that ignite purpose-led organizations in our latest e-book: Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose

Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose Book cover

Savage Brands believes in unleashing the good inherent within all organizations. Business results are driven by connecting with people at the belief level. That’s why we align everything a company says and does with its Purpose through a proven process that links strategy and execution with “why.” We solve the challenges corporate America faces by building tribal loyalty from the inside out, focusing on people first to deliver authentic brand experiences. Savage builds purposeful brands, communications, leaders and cultures.

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Crafting Values That Work

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