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What are the core values of our business and why are they so important?

Core Values

I have been working with a number of entrepreneurs and leadership teams of the last few months on core values and I thought sharing some of our work together may help others take stock and see if their business culture is where it needs to be moving in to the new year.

The core values of a business are those values we hold which form the very building blocks on which we perform work and conduct ourselves. We have an entire cosmos of values, but some of them are so primary, so important to us that throughout the changes in society, government, politics, and technology they are still the core values we will abide by. These “beliefs” (Team Management Systems or “Feelings” (Myers Briggs) are in an ever-changing world, constant.. Core values are not descriptions of the work we do or the tactics we use to accomplish our goals. The core values underline our work, how we interact with each other, and which strategies we employ to fulfil our mission. The core values are the basic elements of how we go about our work. They are the practices we use (or should be using) every day in everything we do.


  • Govern personal relationships

  • Attract likeminded individuals

  • Repel those that are not empathetic

  • Guide business processes

  • Clarify who we are (our brand)

  • Articulate what we stand for

  • Help explain why we do business the way we do

  • Guide us on how to teach

  • Inform us on how to reward

  • Guide us in making decisions

  • Underpin the whole organization

  • Require no external justification

  • Essential tenets or principles

  • They are what we would do if our mum was watching


  • Operating practices

  • Aspirational, they are alive and well

  • Business strategies

  • Something you simply hang on the wall

  • Cultural norms

  • Productivity based

  • Changed in response to market/ administration changes

  • Used individually

Why is having and communicating Core Values important?

  • They determine how your company is unique. What makes you different from everyone else in your industry or in your field? What differentiates you? Other companies may have similar values but not necessary in the same order.

  • They dictate personal involvement and alignment. This is about having the right person for your business You will hire, fire, reward and recognise people on how they exhibit the core values. Hire first on core values and then on Talent.

  • They communicate what is important. What’s important to you, the employees, and the company can be clarified in your values for your clients and customers to see.

  • They influence overall behaviour. They show what accepted behaviour is and what is not. The core values influence how the staff here at ABC company act, and you can see it. They live it out even when no one is watching.

  • They inspire people to action. People take positive action because they aspire to live up to those core values.

  • They attract and retain likeminded clients and suppliers

  • They remove the stress of having "out of step" employees and they contribute to the overall success of the organization.

  • They shape the organizational culture.

Remember, combining your organisation's core values with your your passion and purpose, you can begin to lead your business from the inside, out. truly differentiating you business from the others.

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