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CO R E     VA L U E S

In an organizational setting, core values are those beliefs that are held in highest esteem. They are the principles and standards upon which the organization intends to build its future. Core values such as honesty, fairness and respect for all individuals shape the behavior of every person involved with the organization.

Core values are different from an organization's list of rules or employment policies. A company often has an employee handbook which outlines a wide variety of regulations -- do's and don'ts to which every person is supposed to adhere. 

The problem with most handbooks is that in their attempt to clarify how each and every situation is to be handled, they become incredibly cumbersome. This creates a situation in which most employees don't even bother trying to learn all of the policies because there are too many. Those employees who do learn all of them often do so in an attempt to discover loop holes and ways to "beat the system". 

Excessive rules and regulations are paralyzing to first-line supervisors who quickly learn that they risk the wrath of the rule book if they make logical work-related decisions about employee conduct, customer complaints, or other issues.

The other challenge with complicated rule books is that they tend to eliminate synergistic discussions among employees and managers alike. When a situation arises that needs resolution, it can be very powerful to have people check the  decision against the core values and then brainstorm a unique solution.

The problems and challenges that will face leaders in the near future will require much more that a simple interpretation of rules by a corporate referee. To remain competitive, we must solve problems in the framework of our company values rather than on the basis of some rule that was written for a former generation of managers.




Vision and mission deal primarily with what an organization does, not how it intends to operate. Therefore, to understand the organization more completely, we must know its core values. These stated standards, by which members of an organization agree to live out at work, explain the origin and nature of the organization's collective character. Core values may be recorded in a list of individual ideals or placed in an all-encompassing statement. 

EXAMPLE: We will strive to be known by our customers, suppliers, employees, leaders, co-workers and others in the world community as people of fairness, integrity, honesty, caring, diligence, and hard work. 

As this statement shows, core values establish an organization's general attitude and approach to business ethics and morality.


If any of this makes sense The Freeman Institute can help any organization of any size -- virtually anywhere in the world -- work through the process required to develop reality-based core values.
You will reap the dividends for years to come.

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