This is the fourth in a series from our chief people officer, Fulton Breen, telling the story behind TKXS' corporate mission and values statements.

It is difficult to imagine an organization that puts greater focus on company values than TKXS. More than announcing in a one-time email or posting in a slideshow, we put our values into action every day, recognizing and celebrating colleagues who do the same. So when it came identifying and defining our five core values—Own It, Speak Out, Team Up, Serve Others and Stay Curious—we were deliberate and inclusive.

TKXS' founders didn't write our values. The leadership team didn't have a mandate. Instead, we went to co-workers—some 71 one of them—who were individually nominated for representing our company spirit. We learned more about them, identifying what it is about them that contributes so much to our culture. In the end, we identified 141 attributes—one-hundred and forty-one! Then, working with those nominees, we defined TKXS' core values—easy-to-remember, genuine (not manufactured), and 100% reflective of our culture:

Own It

Serve Others

Speak Out

Stay Curious

Team Up

Own It. We encourage our colleagues to engage, be accountable and be passionate about their choices. We actively seek ways to grow and provide chances for people to represent TKXS internally and in the community.

Speak Out. We encourage each other to speak our minds with conviction. We respect difference of thought, and we trust each other to speak out with respect. We welcome and actively seek employee ideas, questions and concerns.

Serve Others. In addition to supporting each other, we support our community. Our teammates volunteer and fundraise for a number of organizations on the local and national level. On a larger scale, TKXS contributes to select nonprofits and to the interests of our employees.

Stay Curious. Intellectual curiosity, creativity and shrewdness are all elements of learning agility and mental acuity. We encourage and salute those who are always willing to ask "why."

Team Up. Respect, friendship, fun, caring, dedicated and transparency are all elements of servant leadership. Teaming Up is essential to TKXS' success and that of our clients.

At the beginning of this series of blog posts, I included a quote from Richard Barrett, Organizations with cultures based on shared values and ethics are measurably better … better for individuals and better for the organization.

For TKXS, that is undoubtedly the case. Our clients tell us so, our employees tell us so, and so does our bottom line.

Read more: Mission (Statement) Accomplished.

Read more: Who Needs Mission and Values Statements? We Do.

Read more: What Does Your Company Do? 

* TKXS resulted from a merger of Technekes LLC and XSInc