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Core Values

What are Core Values?

… continued

It must be a do as I do thing. There must be examples set forth by the existing group’s attitudes and motivation.

We may think of it as a very corporate thing to do, but many people credit core values as important guidelines that aid in gaining committed people to assist them or contribute to support the goals. Commit-able core values (content to come). The average number of core values that are common appear to be 3-7, but some organizations have 10.

The following is a list of some core values that various groups use today:

  • Give exceptional results to those we are serving
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Create fun and maybe be a little “different”
  • Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
  • Pursue growth and learning
  • Build open and honest relationships with good communication
  • Build a positive team and family spirit
  • Do more with less
  • Be passionate and determined
  • Be humble
  • Stewardship
  • Best people
  • Client value creation
  • Respect for the individual
  • Integrity
  • Satisfy and delight those we serve
  • Support team member happiness and excellence
  • Creating profit through growth and afdjlsfdj
  • Care about our community and our environment
  • Create ongoing win-win partnerships with organization in the community
  • Use judgement
  • Communicate
  • Make an impact
  • Be curious
  • Innovate
  • Have courage
  • Core Values Influence Our Organization’s Culture

    Our organization’s culture is either created purposely or it evolves over time, based on what core values are brought to the place where we do our work. Our group’s culture can either attract or repel potential volunteers, and it can also help retain and engage the volunteers we now have and are going to add to our organization in the future.

    Simple, yet powerful values contained in our core value system can continually guide our decision-making as well as our interactions with the people we serve and the people within our group, including members of the board and / or volunteers.

    Core values should be concise and easy to remember. Core Values should be something that all within the group can easily recall and keep top of mind.

    Beyond Identifying Core Values

    Cynicism about core values can grow quickly if people do not understand them, or if those that are leading ignore them.

    Making Core Values Valuable to Our Organization

    To have impact, values cannot just be words on a plaque or wall poster – they should be a part of people’s everyday work behaviors, decision-making, contributions and interpersonal interactions. The people who are leading (in this case, the board, as well as some of the longer-term volunteers), should be able to demonstrate the values as an example.

    In addition to identifying core values in behavioral terms, they are optimized when groups focus on:

  • Accountability – Regular and consistent feed-back is key
  • A Systems Approach – Let your core values be part of everything you do.
  • Rewards/Recognition Strategy – Groups should recognize and reward.
  • Communication Strategy – Don’t keep it a secret.
  • To summarize up to this point:

    Once a Mission, Vision, and Core Values are defined, it is critical that leaders consistently communicate them: the why we exist (Mission), the where we are heading in the future (Vision), and what types of behaviours are expected to be upheld by all when interacting to accomplish work together (Core Values). This is a formalized definition of our culture – in order for us to continue to grow.