What’s Your Culture Code?

Dave Ramos

Every company has values. But most struggle to make them more than just words on posters.

According to Wikipedia, a value system is “a set of consistent ethic values and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity. A well-defined value system is a moral code.”

Unfortunately, core values can also be a source of cynicism. Sadly, many CEOs do not have their company’s values memorized, and countless employees can share stories of executives whose behaviors were in direct violation of their company’s values. Perhaps millions have been impacted by other forms of corporate hypocrisy.

Despair.com has built a very nice business selling posters mocking core values. Here are a few examples:

  • Perseverance: The courage to ignore the obvious wisdom of turning back.
  • Procrastination: Hard work pays off over time, but laziness always pays off now.
  • Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time and most people won't notice the difference until it's too late.

Gallup research revealed that only 23 percent of employees know how to apply their company’s values to their work. Nonetheless, core values are used by successful companies to effectively to create alignment. Some of the common best practices include:

  • They codified their values into one integrated value system—or One Code.
  • They passionately communicate the…

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"I'm sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth."

- John Lennon

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