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Discovering Values

Discover Organizational Values

Convey your organizational values with confidence. Use this three-step tool to discover the beliefs and principles that your company upholds.

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Step by Step

Defining your organization’s values does not need to be scattered, random, confusing or daunting. There is a structured and straight-forward way to discover them, alone or with your executive team.


Write from Memory

First, think of a time when everything was running smoothly with all facets of the company – the people on the team, the product you were providing, and the process you followed. What created such a pleasant and effective work environment? Cluster the mindset, methods, or behaviors that you recall under each of these 3 categories. 

For example, under ‘People’ you might list things like: 

  • Zero-tolerance for conflicts. Solve or work somewhere else

  • Covering each others’ backs. Camaraderie

  • Courage to not hold back on goals

  • Passion more powerful than fear

  • Partners considered part of team 

Your finished ‘People, Product, Process’ chart might look something like this:

Step two

Long List of Values

The second step is to peruse a comprehensive list of values. Choose all the ones that resonate with you. This could be several dozen from the list, such as compassion, action, enjoyment, creativity, resilience, warmth, openness, precision, fearlessness, perseverance, equality, awareness and so on.


Combine & Narrow the Lists

The third and final step is to condense the attributes and values into a few categories.

Take the list of chosen values you want implemented. Condense some under a wider-reaching value. For example, the four values of ‘acceptance, awareness, care and compassion’ can be written under the one main value of ‘Humanness.’ 

Take the chart of ‘People, Product, Process’ you pulled from your memory. One by one, take an attribute from the chart and list it under a corresponding value. For example, ‘collaboration,’ treating ‘partners like part of the team,’ and a ‘zero tolerance for conflicts’ policy, could all be listed under the value of ‘Teamwork.’

When you are finished, every item from both lists should be nested under a few precise categories (minimum of three and maximum seven), like this:

Here you have your narrowed list of values, with clear supporting evidence that they represent the behavior, principles, and beliefs that you want to uphold. 

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