Hello People Geeks! What has been your approach to establishing company values? What has been your process in helping create and define each value? Would you put a threshold on number of values a company should have?
Hi Jessy. Yes to the limit question. I never let my clients have more than 5 (and have never seen less than 3). To the bigger question: it’s about identifying what is already there. We’ve had the most success by asking senior leaders to identify culture all-stars—those people who you’d love to replicate. Then we bring those folks together to work on what they think is the most important ways their company works. Values are the “how”, and it is critical that it’s not just leaders dictating.
You can grab a free copy of the exercise we use here: https://www.greatmondays.com/toolkit
When I partner with organizations to help them develop their company values, it’s always an interesting process. There are many difference ways to approach it. It’s important to get the perspectives of cross-sections of the org and to avoid any kind of top-down values roll-out. There should be a consultation process that gathers as much as possible, using well-framed questions and then a co-creation process with a representative smaller sample of the people. Then, a process to reflect back the first iteration and go from there with getting alignment and buy-in. The most important thing is transparency throughout the process.
In terms of a number, I don’t believe in putting an arbitrary limit on it but usually when I recommend my clients make something memorable, they end up self-limiting the number. Most commonly is 3-7. Usually, when there is a longer output, there are a couple that can be combined with some word-crafting to keep it succinct.