Creating Intentional Excellence with Core Values

Remember the Golden Rule?   Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?  I’m sure that most of us would agree that this should also be a rule we follow in business.  Use common sense, differentiate between right and wrong, and treat others fairly and with dignity.  Sounds simple, right?  The truth, from this writer’s opinion, is it should be.  However, if it is so simple, then why does every major association, board of directors, company andcore values visual more have a written statement of core values or code of ethics?

Core Values sets forth corporate values and ethical principles and offers ethical guidelines to which your staff aspire and by which their actions can be judged and as such should include the following:

Guidelines:  Your organization’s statement should be a guideline that defines the persona of the business or organization.  Think of this as a value proposition that defines how you want to be and be seen in the eyes of your clients, partners, and even your competitors.  Make it a firm foundation where you can stand and make solid business decisions.

Direction:  Develop ethical practices and behaviors.  Your values statement should be used as the direction for your team, and will guide them in making decisions that are beneficial to the organization as well as the individual.  It should serve as a roadmap to making the right decision in sometimes difficult situations.  By providing your team with values and ethics, you will create and foster an environment where employees can feel confident about how to handle, or get direction on how to handle an ethical issue before it becomes something much worse.

Measurability:  Create a defined set of standards by which you can measure the success of your initiatives and your reputation.   As with all business initiatives, the ethical operation of a company is directly related to profitability in both the short and long term.  The reputation of that company serves as a litmus test for potential partners, vendors and shareholders.  It is imperative that you have something in place to define and measure these metrics. At Imagine every employee is measured each quarter on our core values – we live and breathe our values.

Transparency and Accountability: 
Accountability is fundamental to performance improvement.  It is the main conduit of the relationship of every member within the organization.  It will determine how we measure and report progress, success and shortcomings.  Transparency on the other hand needs to be in place to show what you do and be held accountable.  In the past this was assumed to mean just owning up to a mistake.  Setting up guidelines for transparency will assure that you can engage and inform not only within the organization, but outside as well.  Following those guidelines will ensure that you will have solid ground to stand on should someone in your industry do something unethical.  The ability to execute and deliver results day in and day out is directly tied to accountability and transparency.  “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”  -Dalai Lama

These ideals lend themselves to success within an organization, and when properly created, addressed, and followed will allow for a set of rules that define the excellence of your team.  When an organization behaves ethically it can provide for significant benefits, such as:

·             Increased visibility in the marketplace

·           A favorable view from potential clients, vendors and partners

·           Provide attention to the products which will boost sales and profitability

·           Creates loyalty amongst the team, reducing attrition and strengthening workplace interaction

·           Attract the best and brightest in the workplace which will reduce the costs associated with acquisition of talent

Recently, the Chairman of our Board of Directors at ImagineSoftware, Michael J. Hershman, was named as one of the top 10 most ethical CEO’s of 2015 by MBA*.  Michael is considered one of the top leaders in the area of corporate transparency and accountability.  He has advised various countries governments on matters of ethics, and in 2011 he was brought in to help monitor the FIFA World Cup selection committee.  We are honored to have Michael as a part of our team.  He is a constant reminder to us that in business, just as much as in our lives, we always need to be above reproach and be our best selves.

In conclusion, how about creating Core Values for your organization?

In order to maintain your standards, to protect your good reputation, to foster trust with those you do business with; you must go about your activities with purpose and drive to do what is right, not what might be easy.  It must be focused, deliberate, and it must be intentional; or as we put it here at ImagineSoftware, “Intentional Excellence!”


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