Companies approach selecting core values quite differently. Many organizations choose attributes that are fairly common, and miss the opportunity to describe the differentiation in their strategy. After all, if your strategy is truly likely to create a competitive advantage, there should be something unique about how you get there.

On a similar but supporting topic, Dr. Michael Treacy suggests that companies mind the growth “formula” that caused them to get where they are today. Quite often this winning approach is something that can be replicated in the future by simply acquiring awareness of it and being purposeful as you proceed. After all, that’s what allowed you to achieve the current measure of success.

This also aligns with the approach the companies like Google are taking. Rather than rattling off a few words that seem to fit reasonably well with the mandate, they articulate “things we’ve learned to be true.” This seems to reflect a heightened level of awareness around what makes the organization successful. And it carries forward tried and true paradigms and business approaches. To that end, we should avoid “run-of-the-mill” values that everyone else uses. If our values don’t define how we are unique, then they’re simply not worth paying attention to.

If your statements don’t polarize the stakeholder / employee / shareholder / reader to create some kind of positive or negative response, have you written something worth reading or paying attention to?

Polarize your statements with vehement specificity!!! Or, you know, say something boring… that no one cares about.

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Categories: Strategic Planning