Define Your Organization’s Values in Business and at Work

I’m working with several forward-thinking clients on either creating or updating their respective strategic plans for the next 5 years.

The first step of the strategic planning sessions that I facilitate is to gain consensus on the organization’s values. Here’s both a nifty definition and rationale for organizational values:

The operating philosophies or principles that guide an organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with its customers, partners, and shareholders. Core values are usually summarized in the mission statement or in the company’s statement of core values.

Core values are critical for any sector, as they are the compass to assess both internal and external conduct;  an organization’s stated values holistically define the organization’s culture. And when implemented fully, “cultural fit” is values fit – which is universally more inclusive than decision-makers hiring in their own image (or respective comfort zones), for example.

Consensus on the definition of an organization’s values is just as important.  Your definition of outstanding customer service might be different from my definition of outstanding customer service, based on our different life and work experiences.

Wegman’s definition of their corporate value of customer service externally and internally is clear:

We care about the well-being and success of every person. 

How do you define and (fully) walk the talk of your organization’s values in business and at work?


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