How Important Are Corporate Values?


In doing research for the book I am currently writing on how to create a leadership infused culture, some values or principles that are characteristics of this type of organizational culture have come to the surface. However, it is important to recognize that these characteristics of a leadership infused organization do not replace the values and guiding principles of the company.  There may be a great deal of overlap, and it may be necessary for the organization to revisit it’s values to ensure that their vision of the future is supported by their values. However, there is almost never a time when a company has any need to abandon closely held and shared values or guiding principles.  The leadership infused organization will enhance and demonstrate an organizations commitment to its values rather than supplanting those values.

For example, if a company values accountability, that company will find that infusing the organization with more leadership at every level increases accountability because all employees will take more responsibility for and ownership of their work responsibilities, which in turn increases accountability.  If a company values people, they will find leadership infusion demonstrates this value as they invest in all employees’ growth and development, and as they encourage more leadership at the individual, team, department, company, and community level. Nearly any other value or principle that forms the pillars that guide an organizations decision-making will be strengthened by leadership infusion.

With this said, it is important to design the unique leadership development program for any organization around the values and principles of the company.  If your organization does not yet have specifically stated values or guiding principles, going through the leadership development program creation process is likely to shed light on what are the shared values of the group – even if they have not been labeled as corporate values.  So, whether your organization already has established values or even if it does not, the leadership infusion process will serve as a strength to achieving the corporate vision.