Every corporation has a vision and mission statement, but what about the company’s core values? Think of these as a set of values that not only follow your vision and mission but define it to the point if you decided to sell your enterprise, the business would still remain the same—in theory at least.
A Little “Constitutional”
A wall mural is the perfect place to display your core values
The United States has its Constitution and while presidents and politicians come and go, these rules do not change, unless they are amended. Our Declaration of Independence is our vision and mission of sorts, but it’s the Constitution that digs deep into what rules we believe in, will follow, and why.
Building Your Statement in 7 Easy Steps
The Stanford Graduate School of Business asked some experts in the field what should be included in a core value statement. Use these as guidelines when writing yours:
1. How you will treat consumers and employees. The big word here is how you define the word “treat.” Clearly define relationships and how they will be viewed. Where will a line be drawn if someone is treated or is treating someone poorly? What are the consequences?
Post your core values using window graphics
2. Talk about integrity – What makes your business trustworthy and authentic? How will you be transparent—what tools will you use? How will the end-user believe you are the right corporation for the job?
3. Directness – It’s important to define how direct and straightforward you’ll be both inside and outside the business. Will you be selective in the clients you choose or is anyone fair game? Defining this is part of your core value statement is not for every business, but often essential in a nonprofit corporation.
4. Communication – A clear communication path must be set up. Where does it start? How does it flow? What are the different types of communication tools you’ll be using? Honesty in communication must also be discussed as well what happens when guidelines are not followed.
Or, post them on something as simple as a posterboard
5. The laws of appreciation – What makes your business something employees and clients alike will appreciate? This part of your statement discusses how you’ve built the business to “appreciate” each individual, idea, goal or plan as well as the paths you’ll take to achieve them.
6. Don’t forget the passion – Every entrepreneur starts with a passion but when a business becomes a large corporation, it is now a passion everyone must buy into. What made that original passion and how will you keep it alive? How does it spread and through what venues?
7. How will you make a difference? - 54 Percent of the most 100 most powerful entities in the world today are companies, not countries. Keep this in mind when defining how your corporation will make a difference today, in five years—in 25 years. Think of it this way, decades from now, what will your corporate footprint look like?
Mix vinyl text with materials
Of course, every corporation will have their own steps to writing a core value statement, but these seven steps will guide you in the right direction. And, a statement can be changed! Just make sure you develop a group of individuals to take on this mighty task from all levels of your business.
Displaying Your Core Values
Within this post, we’ve shown some ideas on how to display your core values for all to see. Via the use of wall murals, vinyl graphics and text and even window graphics, your corporate values can be promoted in a visual way.
Interested in putting your values on a wall, window or in a hallway or lobby?
7 Geese “Company Core Values: Why to Have Them and How to Define Them” March 12 2013.
Stanford Graduate School of Business “10 Core Business Values That Really Matter and Why”