When I work with companies one of the first things I want them to establish is core values. These core values must come from within the organization with all employees and potentially some board members and volunteers participating in the process. The process involves deciding what the top 5 values of your company will be. These values will ultimately keep you on track as you grow and change and they will set the tone for the culture of your entire business.

Many organizations have core values but never revisit them. In my recent work with a client I advised them to start every staff meeting with a review of their 5 values and an opportunity to give each other “props” on how they have witnessed actions that uphold those values. This really imbeds the values into the daily life of your business.

If you don’t currently have core values you do not have to bring in a consultant to do this (although I would love to help you with it!). You can facilitate this process on your own with your team.

The first step is to have each person decide what their top 5 values are for the company and bring those to the meeting for discussion. List everyone’s words on a white board (no matter how you feel about them). Next, as a group you will begin to combine the values that are similar, choosing whatever word you like best (use majority vote). You will continue to narrow down the list by asking how each specific value is defined and slowly but surely combining and eliminating words as you go. After you settle on the 5 strongest words you must then decide as a team how that is defined within your business. What does a value of “audacity” mean? Or how do you define the value of “honesty”?

Finally, you will finalize the verbiage everyone agrees on and then have them designed (yes professionally) and post them in a few different places within your business as a constant reminder!