Core values are the handful of guiding principles by which a company navigates. For example, Disney’s core values of imagination and wholesomeness stem from the founder’s belief that these should be nurtured for their own sake, not merely to capitalize on a business opportunity. Instead of changing its core values, a great company will change its markets—seek out different customers—in order to remain true to its core values.

Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization. A small set of timeless guiding principles, core values require no external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization.

Test your Core Values

Why Core Values Matters

Just as a Core Purpose defines a company's reason for being, Core Values define the way of being of the Company. An organization that achieves alignment of the Core Values of its people to the company's will achieve better performance. The staff will have much more joy and engagement in their work than the organization that is mis-aligned regarding Core Values.

4 Steps to Discover (not Create) Core Values:

  • Identify a few people you think represent what’s best and right about the company.
  • Tell a few stories about each person on your list.
  • Find the underlying values that drive the behaviors from the stories. Convert negatives to positives.
  • Boil it down to 5-7 unique values.

Test & Refine - 4 Questions:

  1. Would you fire someone for not living them?
  2. Would you take a financial hit in order to maintain them?
  3. Are they alive and visible?
  4. Do they describe the personality of the company?

Coaching Tip:

Integrate your Core Values into your hiring process to ensure you hire candidates that have a personal values that align to your way of being as a company.


Learn More About Core Values

Rhythm Systems strategic and execution software for mid-market companies - Core Values