The Selle BusinessĀ Blog

Ā Changing the world through positive impact

from a natural and organic business consultant

Core Value or Purpose?

company culture core values leadership purpose Apr 22, 2024
roadside billboard with words Your Purpose

You start with values. What’s important to you? To your team? Identifying the gaps is a good place to start. What do you wish was more of a priority? What do you base your decisions on? These are values, and if they're central to the way you do business, they're called Core Values.

Identifying equity as a value, along with interdependence, can communicate that your company is a collaborative entity that hires people from diverse backgrounds who work together to solve problems. Other values could be efficiency, safety, or intuitive decision-making. Alone, these provide prospective employees as well as customers a sense of what is important to the company and how decisions are made.

Purpose, however, is the north star. It’s what guides the company and also provides a framework for how time is spent and how activities are prioritized. For instance, supporting the local food bank is a purpose. The company with this as its mission will provide opportunities for its employees to volunteer at the food bank, will serve on the food bank’s boards and committees, and will divert funds or resources to provide in-kind or other donations to the food bank. In this case, the values could be charity and every person’s right to a good meal; the purpose is direct support of the Harrison County Food Bank.

A company that makes home décor may have values such as generosity, excellence, and “deliver WOW!”. These may be the agreed-upon values for the team that produces its cabinetry and fabrics. This particular company's purpose may go in a couple of different directions:

1) the company's leadership and employees may decide that supporting ecological sustainability is most inmportant to them. To do this, the company’s purpose becomes environmental advocacy. They may join as members of the Forest Stewardship Council and they may advocate through their time and money for stopping the rainforest destruction in the Amazon.

2) the company may determine that supporting children's health in the manufacturing industry is most important to them. In this case, their purpose may be social and their priority is to end child labor in cotton factories in India. Leaders and employees may travel to advocate in Washington DC, or even to India to visit and inspect their vendor facilities.

Based on which purpose the leaders and team choose, the company may assist its employees in learning advocacy or volunteering in related ways, and it may donate a portion of its profits to a rainforest alliance or to child labor NGOs.

 

Once you've set your values, you can identify a purpose which is activity-driven and exemplifies the way you want to enact your company-wide values. Your purpose is visible, engaging, and far-reaching. In fact, while your company can address and work toward your purpose diligently, you may never achieve it because the idea of a worthy purpose is that it is big, life-changing, even world-changing. Your company is part of the solution and it is this ongoing endeavor that brings your values to life.

In-Person Workshops and Retreats

As a natural and organic business consultant, I specialize in leading in-person retreats, workshops and trainings where executives and/or team members come together to identify and expand core values and purpose. Creating a mission statement is not enough. To keep teams healthy and engaged, your company must invest in the ongoing process of exploring and identifying core values. And to propel your company forward with both employee retention and customer love, you should consider implementing a meaningful purpose throughout. What does this look like? I can help with assessments, trainings, curricula, HR resources, and implementation that strengthen team unity. Contact me at [email protected].

 

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