The principles of principles (or, how to tackle your values.)

2 Minutes

In working out your corporate values, it helps to consider what angle you'll come from, and what kind of words and phrases you'll want to use.

In developing values, you might choose to:

• Use them to drum out bad behaviour (simply list the bad behaviour, write the opposite)

• … or base it on an assumption of better things (assuming what is holding you back now is behind you, what values are you free to implement, that really chime with your best intentions and greatest ambitions?)

• Filter it through the service or product you offer (its purpose, the order in which it happens, the outcomes it generates)

• Make it creatively bold (this is exciting, snappy and creative)

• … or matter of fact (this is clear, actionable and easy to access).

And you absolutely must:

• Make it clear, memorable and actionable

• Express it in the language people (not business people) use

• Ensure it applies to all concerned: team, customers/service users, wider stakeholders

• Keep it real and slightly daunting.

• It’s worth remembering that ‘culture is what happens when no-one is watching’ and ‘what you tolerate becomes your culture’.

In other words, if your values are not authentic, clear and applied relentlessly – with consequences for rebellion, even the sluggish kind – then they are not your values at all, and the rebels will have imposed theirs on you instead.