Have you defined your business’s core values? At Butler, we’re rededicating ourselves to our core values – the principles that inform every action we take – in 2019.
If you haven’t yet, we recommend taking some time to solidify your core values this year. Especially as you begin staffing up, defining and expressly stating your core values ensures your team retains your overall vision and acts as a cohesive whole.
Core Values Are Guideposts
Having clearly defined core values allows you to determine whether your team is on the right path, and whether you’re fulfilling your business goals. Our core values are the unwavering, unchanging guideposts by which we filter ALL our decision-making and goal-setting efforts. For Butler, they include:
1. Nurture Creativity
2. Find and Bridge Gaps
3. Dream Big, Work Hard
4. Reject the 3 C’s (Criticize, Condemn, Complain)
5. Radically Serve
6. Have Fun
7. Drive Change
8. Openly & Honestly Communicate
9. Be Humble & Gracious
10. Give Back
A lot of these core values are self-explanatory; some aren’t. In effort to bring clarity, as well as keep our Core Values top-of-mind for our team, we’ll be talking about ALL of them throughout 2019 – with the goal of showing why each is important. (See the unabridged version here)
Core Values Are Resolutions
At Butler, we treat our Core Values as resolutions. By resolutions, we don’t mean like New Years Resolutions – those things people say they want to achieve by the end of the year and then give up around mid-February. No – by resolutions we mean a firm resolve to do (or not do) something. These values are the attitudes and mindsets we strive for, understanding that if we fall short, at least we’re falling forward in the direction of attaining these values. Our Core Values are the ideals that shape our actions.
How do you come up with Core Values?
Keep in mind that in this post we are talking primarily to CEO’s, business owners, and leaders of organizations – those who expected to cast vision and define the Core Values for companies. If you’re having a hard time coming up with your Core Values, don’t overthink it. It’s not the end of the world if you write something down, then change it later. It’s okay (and expected) if your Core Values evolve over time. If you need help to get your creative juices flowing, here are some helpful questions to consider:
- Why, at the core, do we exist?
- Who are the type of people we want to be?
- What characteristics are necessary for our growth?
- What are the things most important to us?
- What are the underlying motivations that help me get out of bed?
- If we hit every financial goal, we would still fail if we didn’t ____.
- What type of work environment do we want to have?
Write the answers to those questions, then try to find a word or short phrase that clearly and concisely sums them up.
Keep Them Top-Of-Mind
Defining your Core Values is one thing. Communicating them to your employees and customers is another. It does no one any good to write your Core Values down and then hide them in a notepad somewhere. There are at least three ways you can communicate your Core Values:
1) Activating Them – You actually have to live out your Core Values. Actions speak louder than words. If you are dishonest and secretive, no amount of PR will get your followers to believe that your company stands for honesty and integrity.
2) Verbalizing Them – At Butler, we’ve decided that each month in 2019 would have a theme centered around one of our Core Values. So in January, for example, our theme is Nurturing Creativity. We talked about it as a team, and did a group exercise to actually nurture our creativity.
3) Visualizing Them – You can put visual cues to remind yourself (as well as your staff and customers) what your values are. This can include posters that list your Core Values, or visual slogans, or murals, etc. Put something in the work space that will help keep your Core Values top-of-mind.
What Are Your Core Values?
So what are your business’s core values? Do they resemble our list above? Or are they completely different? We’d love to know what ideas and ideals inform your actions and will drive you forward into 2019. So feel free to share your values in the comments below.
Interested in working with a team that shares your values? Contact us to get started with a branding, marketing, or design project today.