By: Ashley Viens, Director of Operations, Ascension Innovation Management
Your core values define you as a person, guiding you through daily decisions and compromises. People know you and trust you by the values you live out. The same holds true for companies, which is why it’s so important to define your values as a company. Every decision can have lasting impacts on your customers, your community, and even the world. We can dream big!
You may find it overwhelming to get your entire organization working in the same direction. Especially true for innovative companies, your teams are filled with strong-willed, passionate people that have their own ideas about how things should be done. As a leader, however, you need to get them aligned with your company’s vision and values in order to effectively reach your goals and win in your industry.
In this second installment about driving success through alignment, we continue to explore the V2MOM charter, focusing on the second “V” ─ Values. These aren’t simply nice platitudes on posters hanging throughout your office…they’re the pillars of your business operations, guiding everything you do and reminding you why it matters.
Values — Why does it matter?
Why did you start your company? What are you doing this for? What is important to your company? Knowing your values and what those values communicate about your company is key. These principles help your team rally together to achieve your vision for success.
If you prioritize values such as Trust, Innovation, Equity, and Integrity, every business decision you make will be formed around maintaining and living out these values. “Values are the core beliefs you want your team to live by . . . things like “think big, spend small,” and “fail fast” are examples of values that lead to successful solutions.”
Let’s go back to that boat example we mentioned in our first article on Vision. Any member of a competitive rowing team will tell you that in order to move faster and farther, you have to row in sync with the other rowers in your boat. The “catch and release” of each oar needs to be perfectly aligned to propel the boat forward with little drag and great speed.
In order to succeed, your entire team must choose to be committed to your values, your vision, your goals. They must want to be the best at what they do and encourage other team members to stay accountable to your Values and Vision if they want to win.
Take some time to discuss with your team what values your company embodies, which values you are going to prioritize as you strive to achieve your vision, and how your values will govern your decisions and tradeoffs each and every day. ✦