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Okay…back to “Articulating a Vision”
(see post Will-your-company-be-extinct-in-5-years )

THE FIRST STEP…in creating a vision is establishing your CORE VALUES.  These are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization.  They require no external justification.  They are convictions of those inside the organization.

>For example, Walt Disney Company’s core values of imagination and wholesomeness stem not from market requirements but from the founder’s inner belief that imagination and wholesomeness should be nurtured for their own sake.

Wow.  Think about companies today. Think about the “sex sales” mentality.  Pop stars are getting younger and younger and wearing less and less.  Now look at Wall Street.  Look at the banking executives who even took bailout money to pay themselves and felt entitled to that money–even though their greed helped put the country in that situation.  What we find is a lack of CORE VALUES.  We see companies doing whatever it takes to make a buck today at the expense of the future.

I heard and briefly met Mitt Romney in Nashville a few months back and something he said really stuck me.  “Liberalist are thinking about today and what they can get.  Conservatives are thinking about the future and what they can give.”  Oh how we need companies to look beyond today.  HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW puts it this way, ” It’s not what a company’s CORE VALUES are, but that a company has them at all.”  Lets talk about guidelines in establishing CORE VALUES for your company:

WHAT ARE THEY?
These are values that are so strong within the fiber of a company, that it’s founder would rather not operate without them.

ARE THESE OBVIOUS?
No.  This is not the place to just throw ethical words around. A high technology company decided not to put “Quality” in their list of VALUES because he could see a world where technology makes “Quality” irrelevant.     But they did include “Innovation” because that is what they want to lead the industry with.

HOW MANY?
A company should have no more than 5 CORE VALUES

WHO SHOULD ESTABLISH THESE?
Your company should create what is called a “MARS” group.  If you had to pick the best and brightest and diverse of your company to send to mars to recreate the BEST version of your company for the future.  This is who should be a part of this group.

DISCOVER YOUR CORE VALUES?
I have prepared a worksheet to help you  and your MARS TEAM to discover your CORE VALUES:
CORE VALUE WORKSHEET (subscribers only)
-or-
SUBSCRIBE HERE (get access to my private google documents by filling out this form)

REFERENCES: Harvard Business Review on Change, 1998; Virtus.

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