Too often I read and hear people start a culture conversation with stupid sayings and items that might be on a wall but they’re never actually said out loud in the company. Instead, I think the first step in creating a business that becomes both personally and economically sustainable is to focus on values.
The first step in this process is first to discover what the values of the owner or owners of the business are. I have often seen that owners want to make the value discovery process a group activity. In my experience this is a giant mistake. Instead, you want people who work with you to adopt and support your values, not the other way around.
If you don’t do this, you might find yourself a stranger in your own business. I hope you’re asking yourself what do I have to do to identify, communicate and integrate values into my company. Well, that’s what this week’s video is all about.
You know, too often I read and hear people start a culture conversation with, you know, really kinda stupid sayings, and items that might be on a wall, but they’re never actually said out loud in the company. Instead, I think the first step in creating a great business culture that becomes both personally and economically sustainable is a focus on our values. Values are what lead to culture, and first you must really have a well-articulated value statement in your company, in fact, several value statements.
So the first step in this process is discover what the values of the owner or the owners of the businesses are. You know, I’ve often seen that owners wanna make the value discovery process a group activity, meaning they wanna bring lots of people in their company into it. That’s a nice idea, but the truth is, in a privately-held company, or even in a public company, you see that the culture starts adopting the values of the CEO. So, with the owners and the CEO of the company, they’re the people who are responsible for creating values, and articulating the values in your company. So, in my experience, it’s a giant mistake when you make this a group activity. Instead, you want the people who work with you to adopt and support your values, not the other way around.
So, if you don’t do this, you might find yourself a stranger in your own business. Now I hope you’re asking yourself what do I have to do to identify, communicate, and integrate values into my company? Well, that’s what this week’s video is all about, is how you go about doing that.
So this is an easy way of doing a values conversation, it’s not the best way, but it’s an easy way to do it, and it sometimes where I have all the people that I work with start.
- So first thing I want you to do is you start with a list. You write down 25, 20 values that you like. And they may be values that are core values, they may just be values you like, or it might be a value that you’ve heard about, but you really wanna have a significant list so you have something to go through and cut down, and really ask yourselves questions about why is it I find this value attractive, and what will this value do for me? Now, you could probably do this in ten minutes. I don’t want you to do this in 10 minutes. I want you to take somewhere between a half an hour and an hour to do this exercise, because the longer you take, the deeper you’re gonna dive, and the more specific you’re gonna be able to get about what are the values that are really important for you.
- Now the second thing I want you to do, is after you write down your values, is I want you to label them in two ways. One would be a core value, which is a value that you have that is dear to you, and true to you, 100% of the time, or maybe 99% of the time, because I’m not sure you ever get to 100%. And you shouldn’t have very many values on your list that are core values. The truth is, in our life, if we have five real core values, that’s a lot. Now the second type of value that I want you to list is what I call aspirational values. Now, what an aspirational value is, it’s a value that you may like to have to be a core value, and it’s a value that you find attractive, but it’s not a value that’s a core value today, meaning that you don’t do this 99 or 100% of the time. So when you’re going through your list, you have to be honest with yourself. You know, this is something that’s really easy to do. It’s easy to say, “Gee, I like this value, “and of course it’s a core value for me “because I like it.” Well, if that’s what you’re saying to yourself, you more likely hae an aspirational value, and not a core value. So, you have to be really honest and say, core values are things that happen all the time, aspirational values are things you like, but are not done all the time. So if you have five core values as you’re going through your list of 25, stop. If you have seven core values, you need to cut it down to five. If you have two or three core values, you’re gonna need to find more values that you wanna move into core values, and that’s where you start looking at your aspirational values and say, “Which of these aspirational values “am I willing to work really hard on “to make become core values.”
- So you wanna circle those aspirational values that your absolutely committed to making core values.
- And again, if you have more than five, you need to cut it down to five. And the reason you need to cut it down to no more than five is, you’re gonna use these as tools in your company, and you can’t have ten core values in your company, because it becomes unwieldy. In my experience, you should have between three and five core values that are absolutely true 100% of the time. And we’re gonna build lots of things around these core values, and use these core values as tools, so you need to do this, really, in a great statement.
- So the next thing you need to do, is that after you have your three to five core values, you need to write a clarifying statement about what each of the values means. For example, one of our core values here is simplification. Now, if I just tell you my core value is simplification, you’re gonna make up a definition for what you think simplification means. Now that may or may not be what I mean, so it’s my job to provide everybody with a clarifying statement around what simplification is. And our clarifying statement is, “We take the complicated, “and make it simple to understand and implement.” So it’s really pretty simple, my job is to take complicated things and make them simple, not to take simple things and make them complicated, which is what too many advisors do. Now that I’ve told you what my clarifying statement is, you know what I mean when I tell you a core value is simplification, that I’m gonna try to take complicated things and make it simple, and take simple things and keep them simple.
- Now this is only the first step. Values without implementation strategy is just a complete waste of time.
So I have a question for you. Are you committed to putting values to work in your company? If you are, developing what your values are and putting clarifying statements around them is only the first step.
Now next week, we’re gonna help with the implementation process of using the values that you have said are core values, and are going to make core values, how are we gonna use these in our business? How are we gonna use these with our stakeholders?
So what do you think? Are you willing to take the first step and develop values you can use in your company? If so, why don’t you scroll down and let me know exactly what you plan to do?
Hey, while you’re at it, DOWNLAD our Free Cheat Sheet on Developing Values For Your Business. Just click on the button below this video, and it’ll be on its way to you.
Hey, this is Josh Patrick, you’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by, I hope to see you back here next week when we talk about how you can take the values that you developed and implement them in your company.