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Short and Sweet #3: Values

3 months ago, David Sweet

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Hi! Welcome to episode 3 of "Short and Sweet."

Today I want to talk about values. I was doing some team executive coaching with an AI start-up this week. The teams gone from couple of founding members up to 80 people in just a very short 12 month period. Their management team is growing and there trying to get their footing with how to work with each other, and how to put in place processes, and work with other teams and work with things that they never thought about like finance and accounting and HR, so it’s been an interesting challenge working with them. The most important thing that came about working with them is that values need to be in place. What I mean by that is, instead of putting rules and processes in place, having values that the leadership team agrees and believes in, will help the decision making process where you don’t need the rules in place to run the business. For example, if your company values self-development more than anything else, then that value will shade all the decision making: for example if you’re hiring someone, you’re going to be asking questions about their self-development and how they develop, and you’ll be asking about how you would develop the people around you and how the company will develop.

So, in putting a set of values together for the company follow a very simple process which you can do with your own company. First, the management team set down separately and put together a list of their values. I recommend putting down everything in challenging yourself to putting down a few more then you might feel comfortable with, making you think outside of the box. So, put together 10 values that you believe in.

Next, come together as a team, and share those values. What are the values , write them all down on a list, see where there is some marriage between some of the ideas and then start whittling through and taking some out of the equation.

Third; start thinking about your company as it is today, and how do you do business. Do you believe in these values and there’s no way that you would live without these values. For example, is customer service number 1, is teamwork number 1, and we’re not going to work without having teamwork.

Then, after you whittled it down to a list 7 or 8, start thinking about the future and what will help impact your company and what do you want that company to be as you look in the future. I recommend that you settle to 4 or 5 values that everybody believes in, the decisions will be made by, and that you truly feel within your bones that that’s how we’re going to do business. And if you do more than 4 or 5 it starts to get very complicated and people might not be able to remember them. They need to be something that permeate your business. Once you have those values in place, things will start to pop much easier for working together as teams, the decisions that are made, and how every process within the company moves ahead.

Values: they’re key to making a business successful. Put them in place for you and your company. Thank you.