What is the Value of Values?

Since founding our marketing strategy consultancy in 2008, I have focussed my efforts on defining and communicating the underlying values of our company. Initially I did this to help me clarify my own values when dealing with complex issues, engaging new clients or appointing new team members.

Over the years our underlying values have not changed, but we have become better at identifying, naming and articulating them. Values are an integral part of our recruitment, induction and performance management programme. More recently our values are included in all client proposals.

What’s interesting is that each time we have reviewed and refined our definition of values, it has been the catalyst for constructive change in our culture and business. By expressing our values more clearly, we have been able to understand them more deeply.

The change has been positive. Some clients, team members or suppliers have bonded more closely while others have drifted away. No major earthquakes or rifts, just the natural growth and attrition healthy ecosystems experience in change.

So what are our values?

Honesty and Respect

We speak the truth and respect every person we meet

Generosity and Approachability

We are generous with our time and ideas, easy to contact and approachable on any matter

Intelligence and Creativity

We apply our best minds and thinking to the biggest opportunities to create performance-focused solutions

Purpose and Results

We are focused on the outcome and measure our success on the results we achieve

Fun

We have fun and enjoy the challenge of what we do – even the tough stuff! The larger the obstacle, the greater the reward

You will notice that many of our values are coupled together such as Intelligence and Creativity or Purpose and ResultsThis may be infuriating to the purist or linguist who is seeking dictionary definitions of each word. We have deliberately avoided getting hung up on this as the words only have meaning in the context of our culture, people and behaviour.

I am sure the definitions of our values will continue to evolve as we getter better at expressing them and living them.

What are your values and how have they created value for you and your organisation?

What is Your Value Proposition?

What is the value proposition of your product or service? When I say ‘value proposition’, I don’t mean the tagline or slogan such as ‘Just Do It’ for Nike’.

The way to think about your Value Proposition is to answer the following question: ‘What unique and compelling, advantage or benefit does my product or service offer customers that will induce them to part with their money for my offer over all of the other choices they have – including purchasing a competitors product or ‘doing nothing’ by keeping their money in their pocket?’

In today’s market, the promise of quality, service or value simply is not compelling or unique enough. We call it the ‘butchers claim’. Which butcher doesn’t say they have top quality produce, friendly service and offer great value?

These attributes are the minimum expectations from your customers. Digging down to truly understand your unique value proposition is confronting and it takes time. If you don’t have one or don’t make the time to discover your unique value proposition, the only choice your customers are left with is buying from whoever offers them the lowest price.

What is your value proposition?

The Man In The Arena

The Man In The Arena is an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s now famous speech ‘Citizenship In A Republic‘ delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.

It is one of my favourite quotes as it acts to both strengthen resolve in adversity and celebrate success in victory:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

It is almost impossible not to be stirred by such powerful words. So, who will you be today? The critic – or the Man In The Arena?

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Disclosure: Stolen Quotes is a specialist PR, media and communications firm wholly owned by Michael Field Pty Ltd.

Contributor:

Michael Field, Managing Director for Michael Field Pty Ltd.