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Simply knowing your company values is not enough unless they are effectively integrated, communicated and demonstrated in all of your business activities.  Unless you (and your team if you have one) turn words into deeds.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with a host of large organisations with lists of lovely sounding values published on their company websites which bear little or no resemblance to how the organisation and its staff actually behave.

It’s how you integrate your values into your business, how you communicate your values and most importantly how you demonstrate your business values in your day to day activities that:

  • determines your business culture,
  • attracts and retains customers and clients, staff and associates for whom those values are important,
  • enables your team to quickly and easily make decisions and take actions which are in line with your business values.
  • and in the long term determines whether or not you will be successful in realising your purpose.

This is part 2 of a three part series on how to create a values driven business. Go back to part 1 3 Steps for REALLY determining your core values 

To be effective in integrating, communicating and demonstrating your business values you need to answer TWO key questions:

Why is this value important to us?  Why does it matter?

As children I expect most of us had the experience of asking “WHY?” and of being told “It just is!” or “Because I say so!”
However in order to get our children to do as we ask willingly, or to get our team to follow us, or to get our customer or potential customers to truly believe that our values aren’t just mere words on a piece of paper or a page on a website, we need to be able to answer the question WHY!

How do we demonstrate and embody this value in our organisation

What behaviours do you and your team exhibit? And what behaviours don’t you exhibit? What can your clients and customers, your suppliers and associates and your staff expect from you and from your business? What does this value “look like” in your business?

You need to live, eat and breathe each of your core values.  That is what creates a strong organisational culture.

Now record each of your values and answer each of the critical questions:

  • “WHY is this value important to my business?” and
  • “How will we integrate, communicate and demonstrate this value in our business?”

When you have completed that activity for each of your values you will have built the core foundation for all of your future business planning, decision making and policy creation.

Here are a couple of examples.

(These examples do not represent any one company – they have been compiled from a number of case studies)

Core Value: Innovation

Why is this value important?

We believe that innovation is essential in an ever changing world and we believe passionately that if we aren’t constantly looking for new ideas, new challenges and new solutions we’re not maximising our potential to make the world a better place.

How do we integrate, communicate and demonstrate this value in our business?
  • We encourage and support our clients to look at problems from new perspectives, to try different solutions, to think outside the box; not for the sake of being different but because if we keep doing the same thing we are likely to get the same results.
  • We encourage our team to be constantly looking for new ways of doing things to get better results. All our team are given time every month to work on new ideas.
  • We hold regular innovation meetings where every idea is encouraged, no matter how wild or crazy it sounds because we know that some of the best solutions can come from thinking outside the box.

Core Value: Environmental Responsibility

Why is this value important?

We believe that the future of the planet is more important than short term profits and more important than any one company or set of individuals and we believe everyone has a responsibility to work towards a sustainable future.

How do we integrate, communicate and demonstrate this value in our business?

  • We practice 100% sustainability in everything we do.
  • All of our operations are 100% carbon neutral.
  • Every supply we purchase, no matter how small has been purchased from environmentally responsible sources.
  • We will only do business with suppliers who are able to guarantee the reliability of their supply chain.
  • Our clients know that while we may cost a little more by purchasing from us they are contributing to ensuring the long term sustainability of the planet.
  • Our employees are encouraged to implement sustainable practices into their homes through both education and support.

PART 3: Making it Happen

In part 3 of this three part series we’ll show you what you need to do now as the business owner to ensure that our core values are being effectively integrated, communicated and demonstrated on a daily basis.

About the Author

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson

CEO and Founder of Synergy48 Group

Brenda is an experienced small business owner.  She has won an Australian Home Based Business of the Year Award, the My Business Magazine Best Start-up award and has also appeared in the Anthill Magazine top 100 Cool Companies and top 100 Innovative Businesses list.  Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor.

Brenda is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business. 

Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic alliances and joint ventures and networking with a twist.  She is also passionate about actively giving back to the wider community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every SMART-Connect Alliance membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own small businesses, Brenda has also climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.

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