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All great businesses are built on values. All bad businesses lack that one attribute. Warren Buffet recognized by the world as the greatest investor of the century claims that his success is directly proportional to the value of his investments.

The core values of an organization are the tenets that provide a basis for action. Core values rarely change. An example of a core value is, “We strive to use our resources in the most effective and efficient manner.” Lack of core values may lead to an ethically impaired organization. They may also be disarray when it comes to the quality of the product or service provided. These values must be communicated to all the people working in the firm and they must be ingrained in the psyche of the workers.

One of the best ways to develop core values in an organization is to involve all the decision makers as well as the implementers. By which it is meant that people from all levels in the organization participate in the building of values. A group of eight to twelve people might be formed and some questions like the following should be answered:

• What voices need to be heard?
• What is the purpose of the organization?
• What is the purpose of this group?
• Who do these values affect?
• Who are the clients?
• What do we want to deliver?

One important question that must be asked is, “What kind of organization are people motivated to work with?” Define the characteristics of that organization and out of them the core values can be derived. Based on these values, the participants should make cases and work out the various manners in which their clients could be affected upon the implementation of these values. This will give them the reality check. Ethics and compliance with those ethics also stem from these values. Deviation from the core values means that the act is unethical.

A strategic planning framework can be used to define the vision and mission of the organization. The strategic framework comprises of:

• A vision of the future of the organization
• A mission that defines the actions
• Values that shape those actions
• Strategies that ensure that the values are in alliance with the vision and mission
• Goals that provide a structure, the achievement of the mission and the vision

A vision statement is a dream. It defines what the organization wants to stand for. A mission statement is a precise definition of what the organization does.

The keys to make a success of the strategic planning framework are:

• Support from the top executives
• Communication
• Involvement of workers across all levels of hierarchy
• Thorough planning and analysis

After all this has been done what is required is a follow-up. To ensure that the core values are being implemented in daily life of the workers, the current values have to be analyzed in a particular time frame. It has to be ensured that these values become shared values. Value identification workshops can be conducted. Only with a dedicated leadership can any organization build itself on values. Values are easy to create but difficult to uphold. Only with proper empowerment do they shape the success of an organization.

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