If you have an existing company, the good news is that you already have core values, so you just need to discover them. The bad news is that you can't really just walk in and lay down the core values that you would like to have… unless you want to fire everyone who can't and won't live them. After all, we are supposed to live and die by our core values.
- Pick a couple of folks that would be great ambassadors for you. What are the character or behavioral traits that you are proud of and want to see in everyone in your company? This is the "Live by" part.
- Now think about who you have fired that was not due to performance results, but due to difficulties in getting along with others. They just did not "get it" working in your company. This is the "Die by" part. Write down the behavioral traits that got them fired.
- Now convert these negative traits from your "Die by" list to positive and add them to the "Live by" list.
- Organize by removing duplicates
- Now discuss, debate and agree with your team.
Roll Out Your Core Values to Your Team
Before you announce your core values to everyone in the company, consider living with and observing if these core values do indeed work for you and your company. Make sure these core values are not just for show. Can you walk the walk, and talk the talk? Don't be shy. Try them on like a new suit. If they do not fit or feel right, discuss again and change them till they fit perfect. After "fitting" for a quarter, ink it, and roll it out to your company. Then Live and Die by these core values.