What Core Values Are and Why We Need Them [Video]

Company values why to have them and how to define them. We have an entire universe of values, but some of them are so primary, so important to us that throughout the changes in society, government and politics and technology, that's still the core values we will abide by.

In an ever-changing world, core values are constant. You cannot change somebody's core values and neither should you be able to change your company's core value.

The values underlie our work, how to interact with others, and which strategy we employ to fulfill 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. Company core values are there to guide behavior and choice.

Get them right and you'll be swift and focused in your decision making with clear direction. Get them wrong, will lead them to be ambiguous and you'll constantly wonder how you got into this mess.

Company core values are what support the vision, shape the culture, and reflect what the company stands for. They are the essence of the company's identity, the principles, beliefs, and philosophy. Therefore, you can only define your company's values once you have a clearer sense of your own vision and your company's vision.

Establishing strong core values provides both internal and external advantages to the company. Core values help companies in the decision-making process. For example, if one of your core values is to stand behind the quality of our products, any products not reaching the satisfaction standards are automatically eliminated.

Core values, educate clients or potential customers, about what the company is about and clarify the identity of the company. Especially in this competitive world, having a set of specific core values that speak to the public is definitely a competitive advantage. Core values are becoming primary recruiting and retention tools.  With the ease of researching companies, job seekers are doing their homework on the identities of the companies they are applying for and weighing whether or not these companies hold the values true to the job seeker.

The question is, how do I find the core values for my company? Jim Collins, in his article, aligning actions and values discusses that organizational values cannot be set. You can discover them. Many companies make the mistake of picking core values out of thin air and trying to fit them into their organization. Core values are not one size fits all. First, get your team. This may be just you and maybe other partners, founders, or an early employee, anyone that gets it. If you've lived and talked over your business startup with your significant other, then that might also be a good person to turn to.

Next, ask yourself -- and include others in the exercise you've identified -- what do you think the core values of this company are? They may need to see this short video to really understand what you're asking.

The core values should be a short sentence, is much easier to think of them this way rather than individual words.

Now, ask yourself -- and the others from your trusted group -- these three questions:

1 - Can you envision these values being as valid a hundred years from now as they are today?

2 - Would you want the organization to continue to hold these values even if at some point they became a competitive disadvantage?

3 - If you were to start a new organization tomorrow in a different line of work, would you build those same core values into the new organization regardless of his activities?

If the soundbites can live through the above three questions, you may just have a company core value. Now, compile them, publish them to everyone in the company, and encourage everyone to use them to guide their actions. You can not use these too much in the future.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values, your values become your destiny."