How Do Purpose and Core Values Create Collaborative Teams and Higher Performance?

As a business owner or executive it pays to take time at your yearly meeting to go over the purpose of the company, and the core values you want demonstrated by everyone in the organization; from what they do, to how they involve others in creating results. Even if everyone “knows” the values and they are posted on charts all over the wall, unless those values are owned, there is a typically a disconnect that can de-energize, and indeed derail your strategies and overall success.

During the strategic planning processes and discussions, discussion of values and purpose is often neglected. As you may have experienced, often, even with a beautiful strategic plan, the implementation activity can miss the mark because communication and personal accountability are missing.

But with more intentional communication you create value for your team and for the relationships necessary to foster better follow-through and a more successful outcome. One of the best ways to communicate with intention is with the discussion of core values and the purpose contained in the Strategic Plan. There is a difference between what we do and why we do it.

Here are some examples of core values you might consider:

  • To create excellence and not settle for mediocrity
  • To empower people within the company to bring forward innovative ideas
  • To encourage communication because we know it facilitates success
  • To give the world a product that contributes to the quality of life
  • To create a work environment that stimulates creativity and allows for learning
  • As an innovative culture, to create an environment where it is safe to have a” bad idea”
  • To deliver value above expectation
  • To foster high performance and to reward success

Here is a Strategic Planning Tool I have been using recently that begins the strategic planning process with the creation or review of core values and purpose. With this in hand, setting priorities and the creation of a clear strategy becomes a successful process, and most importantly, the implementation actions and metrics for honestly observing results becomes a group project owned by all.

I have worked with leaders who are in companies that were started over 100 years ago. When the companies began, their core values were developed and communicated to employees, and listed throughout the organization. But unfortunately they often became part of background rather than a purpose that is current and can drive results.

So much of performance and productivity is impacted by values, some of which are not always consciously remembered. Sharing of those values can create a commitment and ownership throughout the company.

Many of you begin the fiscal year with the calendar year. A good exercise for the beginning of the coming year would be to create and /or to revisit core values and purpose as part of your opening leadership meeting. If you have begun the year October, as many businesses do, you are already halfway through the first quarter and can begin arranging meetings for leaders and teams to incorporate the value exercise.

Would you like suggestions on how to facilitate the values exercise? Please let me know and we can create a meeting time to have a brief discussion to assist the process.

If you have a leadership question, challenge, or success you would like to share, please be sure to leave a comment. Also, if you are willing to share some of your core values that you think are especially important that would be great! – Patricia