In the KeyneLink Process, “Foundation” encompasses the organization’s vision, mission, core values and initiatives. Core values are defined as minimum behavioral standards. Core values get to the heart of employee interactions and behaviors. In the KeyneLink Process employees are rated on the Core Values in each monthly or bi-monthly progress meeting. (Progress meetings will be explained in upcoming blog posts)
Clarifying core values can be one of the most powerful group exercises your company can do. The KeyneLink Process recommends not using the term “core values” during this exercise as some individuals will interpret the term differently and this can skew your results. Instead, use the term “traits” and only talk in terms of “core values” once the process is complete. The basic steps for a core value exercise are:
- Brainstorm Traits(Values)
- Brainstorm one or two word traits that describe the values that underlie the organization. (Example: Integrity, Teamwork, Good Judgment, etc.)
- Define Traits(Values)
- Define each of the traits until all participants agree that a workable definition has been developed. (Example: Reliable (trait) – Accept full responsibility for your actions, activities, promises and results whether good or bad (definition of trait).
- Prioritize Using a Paired Comparison Approach
- Compare each defined trait (value) against another to develop a priority of values using a paired comparison method. In paired comparison analysis, each option is compared against each of the other options, determining the preferred option in each case. The results are tallied beside each option and the option with the highest score is #1. The option with the next highest score is #2 and so on.
- Identify “Core” Values
- Rewrite the traits (values) on a clean sheet of paper in order of priority. Gain consensus regarding which values are critical and which are merely nice to have. As a rule of thumb, 6 to 10 “Core” Values are good to identify.
The wisdom from this blog post came from KeyneLink’s strategy-execution manual. The KeyneLink system helps senior leadership deliver faster, better decisions, while building a world-class execution capability throughout their company. More to come!