Having core values personally and professionally are extremely important to guiding effective decision making. I am positive I could have used them in college. Just having core values laid out is not enough if you don’t have a system for utilizing them within your organization. Because of this, when we make decisions about what new products and services to offer, we sometimes ignore our values altogether and utilize other criteria to judge the decision.
A great example of ignoring values is when I started working for a consumer finance company in the late 90’s. Our job was to sell loans yet we had many tasks that required a lot of time such as collections, drawing up paperwork, customer service etc. Over time the company began to realize that it was killing our productivity and that we could sell more loans if we just focused on selling. The company began to central collections, documentation etc. I am sure you can guess that the growth that we experienced as a sales team was exponential when we didn’t have to worry about the other tasks.
When you are considering a new product, service or system for your business be clear about what it is that your business wants and how it fits in your current model. Maybe you want to use something new to change the direction of your company. That’s OK too. Just make sure that the change isn’t an unexpected by product and that it was intentional. Putting a system in place to consider your values when making decisions will help to insure that outcomes are intentional.
A structure for how you consider your values will be up to you and will most likely be unique to your business. The goal being that your values are so ingrained that is comes as natural as breathing. The key is getting to that point. Core values are the veins that run through your organization, if you choke on of them off a piece of your company begins to die. Once you do you make better decisions that positively affect your companies’ growth and profitability. How can you better ingrain your values into your company? How have you been able to use values to make better decisions?