If you’re thinking which values are you referring to – personal or company values? I’m actually referring to both because there should alignment in your personal and professional life.
If you need to google your company values or call human resources, chances are your company’s values have not been operationalized. Only 10% of companies have a short list of memorable values that they’ve associated with behaviors to reinforce their values.
Salesforce has done a good job of honing the values list to four  values and associating behaviors with each value. It’s how they are able to walk their talk in everything they do despite being a very large company.
Whittling down the values list from 100+ takes some time and careful thought. Most companies have a list of 10-15 values but within that shortlist there are usually 2-4 that encompass the company’s core beliefs.
Operationalizing values is a process of linking values to behaviors so that people understand what’s an acceptable behavior as well as what’s not an acceptable behavior. Providing three  examples of each type of behavior is usually enough.
Once the values are operationalized, the company culture will develop to support and enforce those values.
If you’re questioning whether or not it’s worth your time, think about how much easier it will be for everyone in your organization to:
1/ Hire the right people
2/ Manage customer relationships
3/ Work collaboratively with people throughout the organization
4/ Make good decisions for the company
Defining and operationalizing your values is not something you want to put off until you’re the size of Salesforce. There are a lot of steps in the journey to realize that level of success. That’s why I think of it as one of those “the sooner the better” activities.
“Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.” ~ Brené Brown
I’ve been working on refining the values for Rush360 too.
Innovation is the heart of what we do. There are 4 steps in our process [Learn, Engage, Design and Transform].
So I started with the steps and thought about the values we need to have in order to do those things well and support the people on our team.
These are the four values that resonated the most with what we do and why:
1/ Courage: It takes a lot of courage to step into a new environment and to get up to speed quickly especially when people see you as a change agent.
2/ Open: It takes an open mindset to be constantly working with new people, new process, new system and in new environments.
3/ Creativity: We get the benefit of having a fresh perspective on the problem but it takes a lot of creative energy to work with all the stakeholders and to design a solution that works for them now and in the future.
4/ Innovation: It takes someone who loves to innovate because the stakes are high and the risk of failure is real. Failure on any scale is disappointing and tough on the ego.
That leads me to balance. I think everything in life – from our bodies to our businesses – needs balance. In Dare to Lead, Brene talks about daring leaders having a strong back and a soft front. It seemed like a good framework to test the balance of our values… it takes a strong back [courage and love for innovation] and a soft front [open and creative mindset].