Corporate mission and values statements get a bad rap. And I understand why. In some instances—perhaps in many instances—they simply don't ring true. While the wording may please senior management or board members, it doesn't always resonate with the people to whom it should matter most—employees and customers.
Too many of these statements are written to legitimize (Look! We have values! We posted them here on our wall!), rather than unify, guide and strengthen. And isn’t that the purpose? Shouldn't these statements be something to rally around? When the going gets rough, shouldn't these statements be something we can reference and apply? Corporate statements should be guideposts and markers, not boxes checked off in a list.
Who needs corporate statements?
In my years here at TKXS, I have an abundance of anecdotal proof of the power, usefulness and validity of these corporate statements. Beyond my own observations, though, there is an absolute science behind their potential power and effect on an organization. Richard Barrett states in Building a Values-Driven Organization: A Whole-System Approach to Cultural Transformation,
Organizations with cultures based on
shared values and ethics are measurably better …
better for individuals and better for the organization.
TKXS, of course, always wants to be better. Measurably better. So when it came time to identify and define our own corporate statements, we took the task very seriously.
In this series of blog posts, I’ll tell how we tackled this essential task—and share our results. Stay tuned.