The whole idea of company values has become such a cliche.
No one even knows what you are talking about anymore.
You are shuffled into some room for a seminar where you listen to words like “diversity,” “excellence,” and “core principles.” You sign a piece of paper at the end of the day to say you completed the training.
It all sounds like a computer talking and nothing is ever different at your company. Ever. Sound familiar?
But just today I ran across this story by Mark Schaefer: Marketing, PR and advertising are primed for a Quantum Leap.
It tells the story of Mark’s time at Alcoa and how a company really can pick something to stand for.
And as Fishkin points to, this choice must be made over an over again.
Let’s put a stake in the ground too shall we?
Real values are truths you hold to be more important than making money. They will come into conflict, and you’ll have to make that hard decision and show everyone on your team why you’re choosing that path, not just once, but over and over in order to instill the idea that values mean something at your organization. Because, usually, they don’t. People who’ve been in the professional world for even a few years get pretty jaded about “company values.” That means you have to go above and beyond to prove that you take them seriously. If you’re not willing to sacrifice and to make money-costing and painful decisions that bias to your values, don’t bother having them. Say, instead, that your core values are financial growth and monetary success. You’ll attract like-minded people who appreciate your honesty.
-Rand Fishkin, Lost And Founder