Nano Library: MARIA CARLTON: First Check your Values-Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit.
Before you even start with a planning session for the year ahead, take out that original business plan and turn to the
page that relates to your company values.
You’ll find that they are probably pretty close to your personal values, but are they aligned with the values of those
who work with or for you?
Staff may come and go over the years, but your Values and your Value Proposition should remain the same. It’s a
timely reminder as we get into ‘The Year of the Horse’, that these two things are different, yet are related.
Your values are the code by which you live and make decisions by in your business and your life. If yours is a small serviced based business such as a consultancy, there may in fact be no difference in these. An example of a set of business values might include things like Excellence, Simplicity and Innovation or Fun, Efficiency and Convenience.
I believe that honesty and integrity are a given in any organization. so don’t list these as ‘core values’.
Your Value Proposition is the offer you make to your clients or customers to assure them of what they are buying (or
buying into) when they do business with you.
For example, ‘tailored financial solutions’ might be the value proposition of a banking, investment or even a budgeting organization, where they custom create a solution for their clients based on what their clients actually need. Compare this to ‘out of the box solutions’ that another company in the same industry might propose as their Value Proposition if they are focused on a standardized set of options for clients.
Going back to the issue of values as being the lynchpin of any business plan, checking to see if your people, products
and services are still aligned with those is vitally important for the vitality of your company!
The reason for this is that if you have people out of alignment with your company values and your products and
services no longer meet the criteria of your value proposition, then everything will feel like it simply doesn’t fit!
A mismatch of these leads to being unable to demonstrate absolute integrity when you are selling and delivering
on what you say you stand for and what you can create. Being out of integrity is really hard work! It means you have
to try that much harder to convince others that you love and respect the company and will stand behind what you
are offering them.
Let’s look at an example of this
If your values are Excellence, Simplicity and Innovation (like Apple), yet your staff like to take shortcuts and deliver
substandard ideas for development, then the products that are created are not at that ideal.
If your value proposition (i.e., for vacuum cleaning products) is that it’s guaranteed to suck harder and the quality is
such that your warranties are taking a pounding with higher than acceptable repair claims, then maybe you need to
review what is actually going on with the people, production and quality assurance programs in your company.
Your Values and Value Proposition will determine what you most need to be focused on in the year ahead. Each year,
consider what’s working and what’s not working around your values and your value proposition. Then and only if
everything is superb in those areas, move on to other things as part of your annual review.
This might sound easy and yet it can be the most challenging and most rewarding business planning you have ever
MARIA CARLTON: First Check your Values-Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit.
Maria Carlton CSP is a business transformation and communication specialist helping
companies to improve their business performance through improved communication
strategies. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Maria is the author of several business books, a
speaker and trainer on Brand Values and Communication