A Simple Way to Discover Your Company’s Core Values

The Four Horsemen: Signs Your (Business) Relationship is in Trouble
October 20, 2020

How to Discover your Organization's Core Values

Core Values define the Culture of an organization. Culture is the embodiment of those values. It's about the way it feels to work there.

Here is a simple method for discovering your organization's Core Values:

  1. The leadership team meets as a group with key employees and stakeholders.
  2. Each participant thinks of 3 awesome current employees who are great at their jobs and who they really enjoy working with.
  3. List the names on a whiteboard. (Notice what names are shared multiple times.)
  4.  Next, each participant lists adjectives that describe each name. (Why did the person make it on your list?)
  5. List the adjectives on the whiteboard. (Note what adjectives are repeated.)
  6. Remove adjectives that are 'table stakes', 'pay to play', or otherwise traits that someone wouldn't even be hired if they didn't have. 
  7. Circle adjectives that are most relevant to the company's success. 
  8. Combine related concepts until you have 3-7 groups. 
  9. Choose the best word or phrase from each group to best represent the core value. 
  10. Discuss the results. Give the new list time to be socialized and evaluated. Edit as necessary.