TPG Strategic Planning Building Blocks: Values
Let’s play Fill-in-the-Blank. Think about how you see the work your company does, the culture throughout the company, how people behave toward one another and toward customers, and the practices and policies that are emphasized throughout the company.
Now fill in the blanks:
We conduct our business with _______________(noun)______.
We are _______(adjective)______in the conduct of our business.
The terms you used to fill in those blanks – and all that’s packed into what you mean by those terms – are a step toward understanding and articulating your company’s Values.
We all have individual values, and mine may or may not be the same as yours. A company’s Values are a clear statement that says, “This is who we are, this is what we stand for, and this is what we’re all about – as a company.”
Values underlie our work, how we interact with each other, and which strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. Values are the foundation of how we go about our work. We hire and fire, at least in part, based on our company’s Values.
In TPG’s work with companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes, we find it to be powerful when entities articulate their Values. We see it as one of the cornerstones of Strategic Planning. When the people who lead a company or organization stretch themselves to define and agree on what’s most important – what’s core – to how they want to be, then their alignment as they move into prioritizing strategies is profound.
“Regardless of what it’s called, every organization needs to have a set of beliefs that inform everything it does. And I mean everything. What accounts you pitch. The people you hire and fire. The kind of work you do. The way you decorate your offices. The look of your letterhead. And not least, the language that you use to express who and what you are.” – Peter Coughter, The Art of the Pitch
Your company’s Values:
- Guide you in making decisions
- Help explain why you do business the way you do
- Govern relationships
- Guide business processes
- Inform you on how to reward
- Underpin the whole organization
A list of “Our Values” posted on a wall doesn’t mean much if they’re not embraced and internalized by the whole organization. When you see a company’s employees demonstrating and living the values in all their behaviors and interactions; when you see policies and practices that affirm and support the values; when customers and clients can name the values just by how they experience the company – that’s when you’ve got a Values-Driven Company.
From one-on-one interactions within and outside the company, to policies and practices at every level, a company’s Values are on display. What are your company Values?
Check out our TPG Companies Values — and share your own in the comments. I’d be glad to see them.
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Photo credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash.