Let me start by saying that Core Values are unique to each company - they are foundational to your company's culture and should describe how you do what you do. You should go through the process to discover your company's Core Values by identifying the underlying behaviors of team members who represent what's best and right about your company. The right values for your company are already evident in how your strongest people are interacting everyday; you don't need a list of examples to help you find them. However, I find patterns fascinating, and I was interested in what the patterns might be - What do successful companies have in common when it comes to how they do what they do?
So, I researched Core Values for some of America's top-performing public manufacturers, as identified by Industryweek. Of the top twenty, thirteen had clearly stated values on their websites. I grouped together values that were related and analyzed the trends. Interestingly, the most successful companies had some Core Values in common, like Innovation, Integrity, and Teamwork. However, these companies also had values that were unique. For example, Coach cares about nurturing authenticity. Apple values accessibility and privacy. Microsoft cares about being "self-critical." Perhaps these unique values are clues to their competitive advantage, the thing about how they do what they do that sets them apart from everyone else.
The results of my trend analysis are in the infographic below:
What are the enduring tenets that govern how everyone in your company behaves? Are you on trend for your industry, or do you have some special sauce that helps you stay ahead of the game?