How to Define Core Values

How to Define Core Values

With recent changes in our focus at The Distance, we felt our corporate personality and identity needed redefining. We were looking to create a brand that represented our growing team’s values, ideology and motivations; but where to begin?

A company’s identity and strategy have unquestionable impact on the success of a business.

We carried out a session with all employees in-order to address these areas, consisting of a generous helping of pizza and beer to help the ideas flow naturally. Anthony Main led the team session that had five key activities that would produce the desired outcome.

1. Outline stakeholders of the company

A company is nothing without the trust and support of its stakeholders, whether that be the directors or the suppliers. Stakeholders must have full awareness of each major decision of the company, with their opinions and interest being taken into consideration.

Our first port of call was to write down the core stakeholders of our company; people who will be affected by, and have interest in, future projects of the company.

2. Write down important issues for various stakeholders
(each person should write at least two points, and if they agree with a point +1 it)

The engagement and support of stakeholders is crucial to an organisation. Communication is a fundamental part of this, maintaining a constructive relationship with all parties and working towards a common goal.

Each stakeholder will have different values and expectations of a company. It is important that the brand identity and brand strategy reflects these values and expectations of the stakeholders, and if changes are made it should be communicated promptly.

Considerations of client companies is what we found was of highest priority amongst us. As an app development agency, our clients are essential to us and we want to maintain long relationships with them built on trust.

3. Create a mind map with key areas identified and expand on why they were important.

The activity of collating  ideas into a mind map can visually represent recurring values across all stakeholders, grouping areas that may not have been obvious previously. It allows further discussion and explanation of the values, elaborating on why people found them important. Progressively, as the mind map takes shape, patterns and strong links will appear to highlight areas of collective importance.

We collated all the great ideas from our staff into a mind map that could be used to identify core values, building a network of links around these principles. A few areas that came up repeatedly were trust, growth, value and expertise. We obviously cared a great deal about being app development experts, using our skills to grow the company and move forward.

4. Each member of staff highlights the two most important points for each category; themselves, the company and the customers.

Using colours assigned to each category, staff can anonymously vote on which value they believe to be of most importance for themselves, the company, and the customers. This stage gives people chance to reiterate their previous ideas, or even adopt new ones brought up by other members of staff. Categorising the votes, staff can distinguish values that appeal to themselves, as well as taking a more indirect look at values that benefit others.

Our team had similar ideas in what they felt was important for each category which shows we share similar ethical values and ideologies in our approach to business.

5.Most highlighted points become part of core values that are used for guidance and reference in future decisions

With the basis for the core values/principles now there, it’s possible to identify areas that staff find most important for themselves, areas that staff find most important for the company, and areas they find most important for customers. Similar values can be consolidated into one point if necessary

We came up with six values that will remain core to the direction of The Distance in all future app development projects.

  • Deliver value through every part of our service
  • Specialist skills in all our areas of expertise
  • Trustworthy through our open and honest communications
  • Enforce quality throughout our processes and services
  • A credible independently stable partner in business
  • Advise, guide and consult on all aspects of a project

So the brand identity and strategy has been defined, whats the next step?

Defining the corporate personality and strategy through this activity gives a relatable identity for customers and  great value propositions. These principles can communicate a continuous message of inspiration and innovation for all stakeholders.

The experience a customer can expect is clearly outlined, a commitment to project timelines, budgets, security and deliverance. A clear signal from an organisation that they intend to continuously add value to customers and nurture a long relationship.

The voice and personality of the organisation is defined, giving a unique and uniform approach to all media. The tone used when writing blog content, emails or answering the phone is consistent.

Concluding, the branding behind an organisation goes beyond a website and products; its becomes an consistent and intangible idea.

Do our values match the relationship you are looking for in a supplier or customer? If so send us an email