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Empowered, intentional, bold, creative, courageous and accountable: six core values critical to the creation of our culture at TechTown. They are not arbitrary or cliché but, rather, ideals chosen with purpose and intent to describe who we are and who we always want to be. Ideals that define the way we commit to behave in our daily pursuit of the mission.
But why have them? Corporations of all shapes and sizes have core values or culture statements that sit beside their mission and value statements, often only to get lost under a pile of business journals, reports and correspondence.
However, there is a missed opportunity when we fail to commit wholly to that defined culture. When understood, communicated and lived, a defined culture creates clarity for your team, your customers and your stakeholders.
A clearly defined and understood culture replaces confusion, politics and dysfunction, which can lead to reduced efficiency and keep companies from achieving excellence.
However, pushing each enterprise decision through your cultural filter ensures consistency and allows every member of your constituency to understand the expectations and commitments of the relationship. There is no room for confusion.
Consider, for a moment, the seating of your team (which, by the way, is one of the most important things leaders do, whether you’re running a startup or a Fortune 50 company). If you’re running a bleeding-edge technology company, do you want team members who are risk averse or uncomfortable with rapid change? A defined core value about change when communicated clearly and used to hire, promote and separate employees will ensure an understanding of that cultural expectation. Likewise, a service-oriented business is not the perfect place for an employee who is uncomfortable talking to strangers. As such, a cultural element requiring outgoing or engaging personas is crucial to enterprise success.
Clarity of culture creates an expectation and a brand, both of which are critical to longevity, relevance and differentiation. Uncover yours. Define it. Communicate it and make decisions with that culture in mind. Everyone involved will be better for it.