Determine Your Values To Build A Valuable Culture

posted in: Culture, Happy Melly, Values | 0

There’s no doubt that values are essential to your business. First you must recognize and protect what is already valuable, and only then can you create and add new values. Fortunately that’s a message many companies understand today. Many executives, and executive teams, have initiatives to improve their Company Culture, to determine Values high on their agenda. Unfortunately many companies still believe that having values to display and do some marketing with them makes them real.

I’ve spend this year on a series of posts describing how to determine and ‘validate’ your company’s values for success. For people to believe in them, for people to act on them.

This post is the last in that series. I’d like to leave the topic for now with a few highlights from Management 3.0 and Happy Melly to inspire you one last time to define your values and take them of the wall.

“There are two kinds of values that both groups and individuals can recognize. Core values are the ones that come naturally to you. Without them, you wouldn’t be yourself. Wish values are the ones you aspire to have. For best effect, you should spin your values into a personal story.”

scrabble colorThat’s how leadership guru Jurgen Appelo kicks off the sixth chapter of #Workout: Games, Tools and Practices to Engage People, Improve Work, and Delight Clients.  (Note: this book is now out of print, pending its re-release with Wiley June 27, 2016.  Managing For Happiness [ISBN: 9781119268680] will include new chapters, new Employee Engagement exercises and more. Stay tuned on the Management 3.0 Newsletter!)


Taking your values off the wall means to make them visible, daily. To bring them alive, activate them and live them. Share them, share stories about and around them.

Read the full story on Happy Melly’s blog.

[…] For a while I was looking for a recognition system we could use and I did quite some research. But I couldn’t find a system that was fresh and not just about ‘filling a quota’.” In short, Sabrina wanted something in the Seedbox style; peer-to-peer and from the heart. “I actually wanted a living space; something that made sure you could see what was going on in the company.”

Values are strange things. It does not matter what they are, what matters is how you “live” those #values. Click To Tweet

Need more inspiration, on what can you do with your Team Values? On how to bring them alive? Ok, here’s some more ideas:

Read the full story on Happy Melly’s blog.

Create a Mission Statement. These values can be looked at as starting off points for your team, company […]

Create a Values Expo. […] a Values Expo is an interactive physical display of your values. […]




Share Value Stories. Whether you are in face-to-face meetings or just chatting in a communication or collaboration too, it’s good to share stories that get to your team values, […]

Value-based Merit Money and Kudos. […] merit money which is a peer recognition system where you give points, hugs or funny money to your colleagues along with a note of acknowledgement, similar to a kudo. […]

Repeat. Reuse. Recycle. Your team values should evolve as much as your team itself. […]

In the past weeks I asked you a few times to check with yourself if you are truly committed to run a values based company. The importance lies in the effectiveness and greatness of your business you can achieve with that. Here’s yet another quote from a Happy Melly blog post that clearly expresses this important point:

Read the full story on Happy Melly’s blog.

There’s plenty for culture to chomp on with all the BS that companies are spewing out as their espoused values and forced mission statements. After all, actions speak ridiculously louder than words.

Your job as a leader—either a leader identified by your job title or as a leader identified organically by your team—is to work with your team to identify the emergent values of your organization. Not what your organization is telling them, but what natural values arise from your team and what values they have that they hope to help growth within the organizations.

A #culture of #values builds a valuable culture - @Happy_Melly Click To Tweet

Every company is unique. Unique because it is a system, a complex system, of which people are its main parts. It is no secret that people are unique, and with that the way people connect and interact (the ways the parts in the system interact) is unique in each company.

What I’ve tried to capture in my posts over the past weeks is no rocket science. It is just a simple sequence of checks and exercises that may help each unique company to determine what their true values are. There are different exercises in some of the posts, recognizing that not all types of exercises will work in each situation, in each company.

Safe harbor statement: the exercises I described are not the only ones you can apply, I will therefore not guarantee their success nor feel responsible if they don’t work (though… they should!) – If you know of other exercises, would you please share them? 🙂

Here is the list of posts you can use sequentially:

Are you serious about running a values-driven company? Then the right place to start is to determine your values to build a valuable culture.

Of course I welcome any feedback, comments and stories about & experiences with company value initiatives. If you want to have a chat, or situations you want some advice on – feel free to reach out on or use the contact form

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