You may be familiar with the idea of a purpose and core values on the personal front. Heard about programs and courses delivered by the likes of Landmark, Context International, heck, even Tony Robbins? They all, in one form or another, ask simple questions like, “Why am I here?”, and “What is important to me?”, and those questions open up often difficult and circuitous routes before revealing a clarifying set of answers.
Purpose and core values have a place in the work world, too.
For entrepreneurs building their own brands, the discipline of setting a purpose and defining core values can have a dramatic and positive affect on – well, on just about everything. On strategic focus, leadership alignment, marketing strategy, employee attraction and retention, and last but not least, on sales.
At KANDY Outdoor Flooring, we turned to culture guru David Reeve of Unleash Culture to help guide us through the process of identifying and articulating purpose and core values. A few years ago, David walked us through the planning process of identifying and crafting our purpose and core values earlier in our brand development.
After some good hard introspection, here’s what we came up with for our “why” (our purpose), and the values that guide all of us at KANDY:
KANDY’s purpose: Expanding Home Experiences
- Passion for Condo Living
- Be the Solution
- Bring Out the Best in Everyone
- Deliver the Promise
- Ever Evolving
Years later, we are still putting our purpose and core values into practice every day, and we have noticed how they act as guiding beacons whenever we’re faced with a decision. Internally, we rely on our core values, for example, when conducting interviews with prospective employees and franchise partners. We don’t expect everyone in the world to share our core values, but we do insist that everyone associated with the brand has personal core values that align with ours. Externally, our core values provide structure within which we serve customers and clients, and address and navigate our way through issues.
In large corporations, this introspection practice often takes shape as vision and mission statements. (You’ll be forgiven if you think that whole approach has gotten a little out of hand, with lengthy missives full of jargonistic language only the insider’s insider can understand.) The trouble is that they’re frequently impossible to remember, and if leaders and employees can’t remember them, how can they possibly be put into practice?
We believe that purpose and core values, done right, are much more powerful than long-winded vision and mission statements. They’re simpler, short and sweet, and cut through to what is really important.
What’s your experience with mission/vision or purpose/core values? Which do you think is most powerful?