Most small companies and startups have some form of a mission statement. It is posted (hopefully) and passed in the hall daily by employees who probably cannot recite it fully.
Core values, however, that are derived BY THE EMPLOYEES have much more meaning and can drive profits through efficiency of communication, clarity in expectations and lack of tolerance for non-conformance to the values themselves.
My first introduction to core values was through an ex-HP business unit manager, and with his guidance, I found extreme value in taking the time to lead the company through the exercise. I have run the process of creating core value statements numerous times, seeing great success and empowerment when all employees (voluntary) are involved. The last poor experience was with a CEO who backed the effort, but then injected himself into the process, took over the conversation and clearly could not let it be driven organically from the bottom up. The organic creation is the secret sauce to the process.
Many small business owners feel that the organic creation of a core values statement is mumbo jumbo, but done right, it is much more powerful to daily operations that a mission statement ever could be. Contact us if you feel your core values are not on track.