Understanding the importance of core values is something that I have been fascinated with ever since I read Jim Collins book, Good to Great. Core values form the foundation for businesses that persevere through time and major changes. An apt analogy is that of the growth of a tree; some trees have a quick growth spurts and on the surface seem majestic and beautiful. However, these trees have roots which do not support their level of growth and this impacts their ability to persevere over extended periods of time.
Core values act as roots for companies, laying the foundation as it were. In an ever changing world where the word ‘pivot’ has become synonymous with most startup companies, it has become of even greater importance that these core values are established as early in the growth cycle as possible. Without this, companies and people tend to drift. Their choices are then governed by external factors rather than an internal compass.
Discovering your Core Values
Core values are not a result of an afternoon brainstorming session. They originate from who you are as a person and a team. In your company right now, there will be a way of how things get done, how you communicate with one another and what factors are ‘non-negotiable’ deal breakers. They may not seem clearly apparent at first, however, with continuous searching they will always manifest themselves.