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  • Writer's pictureErika Clegg

No more Mr Nice Guy.

Values don't need to be NICE.

What?!? It's true.

Corporate values are shared beliefs, attitudes, areas of focus. They allow people to self-select their suitability. They raise performance levels. They are profit-magnets. They help you achieve your goals.

Whatever your style, you need values.

If your business is the absolute antithesis of a B-Corp, you need values.

If you all wish woke would go back to sleep, you still need values.

If you stack 'em high, sell 'em quick and stuff sustainability: guess what, you still need values too.

Let's get real.

Honestly, do you believe it when you see companies whose reputation goes before them tell you, innocent faced, that their values are 'Respect. Integrity. Diversity. Environment'?

Of course you don't. They're taking you for a ride. You can see through it a mile off. And you're not the only one.

What every organisation needs is honest values, that express what it's really like to work there or do business with them, and what to expect of them.

Values sort the wheat from the chaff.

Because if your values are truthful, clear and well-communicated, you don't need to waste your time filtering unsuitable candidates or customers - they'll filter themselves.

Stitch your values irrevocably into every part of your organisation and they will be so obvious to everyone that they become impossible to ignore. (That's what we call ActiveEthos)

I'm not suggesting you are evil!

Not at all. Let's take it as read that anyone reading this has best intentions.

What I am saying, however, is that we can all afford to move away from the established lexicon of values. We can use some imagination, bring a little grit into it. We can express our true corporate personality.

If you're in it for the fun, say it.

If you're 100% focused on the money, say it.

If you go against the grain, say it.

It's about truth.

Values allow you to be yourself, to do things the way you need them to be done, to reach your goals your way, in an atmosphere of clarity and honesty.

They speak your truth, they don't hide it.


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