In its simplest definition, values are the fundamental beliefs of an organization, the guiding principles that dictate how people should behave and act.
A company’s values help people know the difference between right wrong, and they help companies determine if they are on the right path to fulfilling their business goals.
Every business needs to identify and acknowledge their values. At Porch we have them front and center, painted on the wall so they are the first things you see when you step through the door.
There are plenty of values that a company can consider but here are eight of my favorites that every company should have, whether it is at startup stage or a Fortune 50 company.
1. A problem solver
Building a great company is about solving one problem after the next. If you can surround yourself with people that are excited to hop from one problem to problem you will achieve great things.
I have always felt that there are three types of people: people who want things to happen, people who watch things to happen and people who make things happen. I have found that ambition can be a really powerful value if it leads to people being the change they want to see in the world.
There is too much at stake for a company to fall into a trap of passive-aggressive behavior. Over the years I have found that if people are honest, open and direct in all conversations you save a lot of time.
This is probably one of my favorite personal and professional values. Empathy is not something everyone possesses and for those who do, it is a gift. The ability to understand the challenges that others deal with, what they care about and how you can help them thrive to hit their goals and maximize their potential is a character trait I look for in every hire I make.
For me adaptability means one thing: How well does a person handle ambiguity? I read somewhere once “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” While perfection is never possible, how well we adapt to change will determine how durable our success will be. In a world of ambiguity those who can roll with the change and still perform are prime time players you want on the team.
The obligation of an individual to account for his of her activities, accept responsibility for them and to disclose their results in a transparent manner.
When I review scorecards I always encourage people to “embrace the red.” Own up to what is not performing well so we can have a conversation around what we need to improve. If you have people who are not accountable they may begin to sweep things under the rug or worse, begin to point fingers or pass blame around.
If you are focused on doing too many things you won’t do anything really well. By putting an emphasis on this value you are able to create an environment where people spend their time creating waves of productivity versus ripples.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistently moral and ethical standards and a business should surround itself with people who care deeply about integrity. When this happens everyone benefits -- partners, customers and most importantly your entire employee base.