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Core values

Our basic principles have endured intact since our founders conceived them.  We distinguish between core values and practices; the core values don't change, but the practices might. John Young, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Core values are the beliefs and values that an organization holds dear. They are not consciously created but are part of the fabric of the organization, probably as a result of the views of the founders - they are discovered not invented. Whatever the organization does in the future or however it changes, the core values should remain the same. They evolve, often unnoticed over the years, until they can be encapsulated with words and become a fundamental part of the way people think.

What are they?
The core values can be thought of as the basic ideology of the organization. This may be to do with the way it treats its employees, the value it places on technical excellence or the way it behaves with regard to the external world and the environment.  They are usually based on moral and ethical principles, often because of the beliefs of the founders.

The Body Shop
Walt Disney
Procter & Gamble

No testing of cosmetics on animals
Being a pioneer, not following others
Not sacrificing quality to price
The worth of the family
Honesty and fairness

A guide for the future:  The core values underpin the vision, mission, policies, objectives and operation of the organization. They should be few in number and all the participants, especially owners, managers and workers should know what they are. If the core values are explicitly expressed or written down they can help individuals come to correct decisions, for example deciding whether to pay an intermediary for facilitating a contract or defining the conditions of employment for staff.

Core values not slogans or mottos: 
Core values must not be confused with slogans or mottos - ‘the no. 1 company for customer care’. Slogans and mottos are usually thought up by marketing people and often bear little relation to how the organization actually works - they are imposed, whereas core values emanate from the depths of an organization’s soul! >>>