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Core Values Clarity – Building a Healthy Organization

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Mar 14, 2013

Wouldn’t it be great to have a filter on your hiring and recruiting process that could tell you whether your candidates fit your business? 

In Building Your Company’s Vision by Jim Collins and Jerry Porraszappos core values resized 600, they offer, Executives often ask, How do we get people to share our core ideology?  You don’t. You can’t. Instead, find people who are predisposed to share your core values and purpose; attract and retain those people; and let those who do not share your core values go elsewhere. Indeed, the very process of articulating core ideology may cause some people to leave when they realize that they are not personally compatible with the organization’s core. Welcome that outcome.  It is certainly desirable to retain within the core ideology a diversity of people and viewpoints. People who share the same core values and purpose do not necessarily all think or look the same.”

If you thoroughly understand this, then you realize how important it is to look for your Core Values in the people you are hiring.  You set up your interview process to include questions that determine whether or not the candidates possess your core values just as Zappos does. describe the image You disqualify anyone who doesn’t meet your Core Values criteria.

In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni offers that, “the importance of values in creating clarity and enabling a company to become healthy cannot be overstated. More than anything else, values are critical because they define a company’s personality. They provide employees with clarity about how to behave, which reduces the need for inefficient and demoralizing micromanagement.”

Imagine that.  Simply by having a culture that people agree with you can reduce the amount of time spent managing them.  It’s the difference between people who have a job, and their having a job that has them.  How many of your current staff come to work feeling energized and excited about what they do?  When you have your Core Ideology right, your people fit your culture, your staff feels motivated to do their work.

More from Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage, “The impact of values goes beyond employees. Clear values can also serve to attract and repel the right customers who want to do business with an organization that reflects what they value, and not just in some cause-related, theoretical sense. People who value creativity, for instance, often choose an organization that builds its culture around creativity. Often this is a more effective means of marketing than expensive and easy-to-ignore programs around advertising, PR, and lead generation. Companies that are serious about their values find that the right customers eventually start to seek them out naturally.

The point of all this is Core Values provides a way to ensure you get the right people on the bus.  It improves your productivity simply by increasing the people who live your culture and come to work prepared to do their job to the highest proficiency possible. It may also prove to be a helpful marketing tool as pointed out by Lencioni above.

Most importantly it provides clarity. 

I shared my personal dashboard for the first quarter with one of my “coaches” I meet with each week.  The clarity it provided him with motivated him to create a dashboard for the 2nd quarter.  We’ll look at some questions to ask regarding clarity in your organization and the value of a dashboard next blog. 

Topics: Core Values, Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Business Vision, The Advantage, Business Culture

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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