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If you have ever been part of a core values discussion, you will know that in many cases, the process ends with conflict, frustration, and ultimately a set of values that are deemed “good enough”. “Good enough” anything is generally not good enough, and assigning the underlining philosophy of your business on a set of values that will do is certainly not the kind of outcome that will inspire a team and deliver remarkable outcomes.

Having been involved in numerous core values workshops ourselves, we have developed a process which alleviates the usual brain-breaking routine of trying to determine core values.

Why have core values in the first place?

Core values identify who we are, what is important to us, and what we are trying to achieve. These philosophies determine how we behave in all aspects of our business from conducting transactions, to recruitment, to the adoption (or reluctance to adopt) new methods and technology.

You can’t manufacture core values

The reality is that a business is typically an extension of the main influence within the business, whether that’s a CEO or General Manager, or Executive team. Core values will (or should) represent the values of these leaders and are therefore implemented within all aspects of the business.

Trying to create core values that sound nice rather than providing accuracy never works. At the time, proclaiming “honesty, integrity, and customer service” may sound wonderful, but if they are not truly dear to the hearts of the leadership team, they are a waste of time.

What to avoid

Honesty, integrity, and customer service are truly wonderful attributes to possess. The problem is that they are overused as values, and they mean different things to different people. So using these for your business brings with them a whole lot of unwanted baggage that will render these values less powerful than they could otherwise be. As stated above, avoid choosing values just because they sound nice and work on values that are authentic and true to the leadership team.

The KnightRiley process

The process we use was built to save the headache of workshops that usually ended without a worthwhile result. We took some existing tools and our own experience to build a simple playbook which anyone can follow to outline their core values. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Grab a copy here.

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