While many companies will have a framework or list of core values which are said to drive the organisation – such as honesty, integrity, and accountability – this often doesn’t actually translate into day-to-day action or behaviour.
In other words, for many companies, core values “mostly serve as a few nice words they plaster on their website (or even their walls) that otherwise go forgotten.”
But having a clearly articulated set of core values to guide an organisation can help businesses to define themselves and their goals, and to find their ‘True North’.
So how can your organisation’s core values guide your operations? And what exactly is your ‘True North’?
What is your ‘True North’?
‘True North’ is a precise, concise, and universal set of ideals which – when followed – provides a defined direction to the organisation.
It is a business’ orienting point, its fixed point in a spinning world, that helps the business stay on track and fosters a sense of shared identity and purpose.
It is derived from a business’ most deeply held values and principles and is the internal compass (unique to your business) which represents who your business is at its deepest level.
A business actively living its values is evidence that a company knows itself, holds itself accountable and uses values as the lynchpin of decision making.
More than just words
While it’s easy for a company’s core values to become ‘mere words’, this isn’t inevitable. Having a set of clearly defined and understood core values which guide your business is certainly achievable – and can help you to find your True North.
Whether your core values focus on honesty and integrity, or personal growth and responsibility, it is important to live by these values in a cultural and operational sense.
But what does this actually mean?
The team at Honey explains how their values guide their business practice, ranging from the recruitment process to making key business decisions.
For example, constructing a clearly defined set of core values allowed the business to develop a stronger sense of what kind of company they wanted to become – and what kind of employees they needed to bring on board to get there.
In practice, this meant using the interview process to screen for workers who possessed the core values held by the organisation.
The team at Honey also notes that they revisit their defined core values whenever they have a business decision to make – ensuring that the company’s actions are always guided by their values in an operational sense.
Additionally, company-wide announcements are made with direct reference to relevant core values, demonstrating to all employees that the business is truly guided by its True North.
Core values can change and evolve
Businesses (and people) change and grow over time. New needs and priorities will undoubtedly emerge, with a need to reassess your direction and values.
As such, updating your core values and realigning your True North is likely going to be necessary at times – and this is probably healthy.
For example, the team at Honey explains that they introduced a new core value of ‘Grow Without Limit’ – encouraging employees to seek out solutions on their own and give them the space to grow in whatever direction they desire.
The introduction of this new value proved to be effective, with employees becoming more autonomous and emboldened as a result.
Overall, the key thing to remember is that while your core values may evolve over time, they should still define who you are as a company and continue to provide strategic direction for your business and your employees.
Akyra’s key takeaways
- Having a clear set of core values can help guide a business and help an organisation find its True North – its internal compass derived from its core values and principles.
- You should clearly define your core values and understand how they can guide your business in an operational sense.
- Remember that your business’ values and True North can change over time. Incorporating new values and adjusting your ‘compass’ is expected and can be healthy for your business as it grows.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Akyra can help your business to assist and support all your questions and concerns related to identifying and implementing your business’ core values. Please contact Akyra on 07 3204 8830 or book a free 30-minute consultation for an obligation-free conversation.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not intended to be legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.
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https://www.joinhoney.com/news/article/why-your-companys-core-values-should-be-your-true-north, https://www.sigmamagic.com/blogs/true-north/, https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartrlevine/2020/08/18/your-purpose-is-your-true-north/?sh=175d37d25c62