The Value of Values

Some time back, there was a post in Inc. about the value of values.

The early part of the article said ‘values are everything’, and you should have them even before you start your company.

All well and good, but values can change or get modified.

For example, when I and a partner bought my family company, it was run like a feudal patrimony…don’t stick your head up and object to anything going on. In return, the company takes care of you.

That value set wasn’t our value set. Because we had incurred a large obligation to buy the company, we had to grow, and rapidly, and make more money, because we wouldn’t make the monthly debt payments if we didn’t.

However, we continued the value of ethical behavior. We didn’t condone one employee diving into a truck to find out where a competitor’s shipment was going, but then we didn’t fire him, either. We did counsel him about the ethics of doing what he’d done.

As the article says, we had to hire a bunch of new employees that shared our values: Hard work, going the extra mile for customers, product and service innovation, to name a few.

So, examine what your company values are, and determine if your company is living up to them or maybe you need to change them or your people to get in line with your values.