So how do you discover core values? Here are some questions that can help:
- Are the core values that you hold to be fundamental regardless of whether or not they are awarded?
- If you woke up tomorrow morning with enough money to retire for the rest of your life, would you continue to hold on to these core values?
- Can you envision these values being as valid 100 years from now as they are today?
- Would you want the organization to continue to hold these values, even if at some point, they became a competitive disadvantage?
- If you were to start a new organization tomorrow in a different line of work, would you build the core values into the new organization regardless of its activities?
The last three questions are crucial because they help to make a crucial distinction between core values and strategies – core values are fixed regardless of the time and factors, internal as well as external, affecting the organization, while strategies and practices should be changing all the time. If the answers are yes for each of the core values chosen, then you have yourself what constitute the identity of your organization.