4 ways organizations undermine their own core values

Corporate talk is cheap. To create a thriving culture, make sure your guiding principles are clear—and practice what you preach.

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Putting values at the center of everything your organization does is the starting point for creating a strong, authentic brand.

Of course, this sort of “values-driven” corporate talk is cheap. As Simon Sinek explained in his TED Talk, it’s not what people do that inspires them—and it’s certainly not what an organization says. Instead, it’s the why (purpose) and how (values) of employees’ work that sparks emotional, genuine engagement.

Putting values into practice

It’s become fashionable for organizations to say they are “values-driven.” Yet, for the stakeholders (employees, customers, service partners, local communities and investors), there is often a gap between aspirational taglines and experienced reality.

Here are four common mistakes that “values-driven” organizations make, along with advice for becoming more authentic.

1. There’s a lack of clarity.

Clarity, in this case, means identifying the true values you stand for and clearly describing what they mean. To gauge the clarity and consistency of your company values, consider:

If you answered “yes” to any questions above, your values lack clarity—and probably substance.

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