EOS Fractional Integrator Services | Brenda Violette
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Core Values: Defining Your Company’s North Star

In my adventures as a Fractional Integrator, one of the most rewarding experiences has been helping leadership teams find their company's North Star – their core values. This key aspect of the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO™) is more than just business planning – it's a deep dive into the heart of what makes a company unique. 

In this article, I'll share the insights into defining a company’s core values that I've gained over the past fifteen years as an Integrator. In addition, we'll also explore how core values are meant to be more than mere words on a poster in the office break room. They’re meant to be the North Star that shapes every facet of your business's culture and strategy.

Core Values Matter: A MountainView Veterinary Hospital Case Study

Let me begin by sharing a personal experience I recently had while working as a Fractional Integrator at MountainView Veterinary Hospital. Prior to hiring an EOS Implementer to help implement EOS in their business, and before bringing me on board as their Integrator, the hospital faced significant challenges that resulted in stress and low morale among the team. However, introducing and adopting core values led to a remarkable turnaround. In a case study that I published earlier this year, my client, Dr. Elizabeth Boggier, the hospital's visionary, beautifully captured this transformation: 

“Our hospital culture was at its lowest point, and it seemed like hope was slipping away. Morale was in shambles, and it felt like an uphill battle just to keep the ship afloat. But then, like a beacon of light, Brenda entered our lives, and everything changed… 

Through her efforts, the transformation has been nothing short of astonishing. Brenda's leadership and strategic planning have given us a renewed sense of purpose and direction. She empowered us to define our core values, mission, and vision statements, bringing back a sense of unity and shared purpose among the team.”

MountainView's experience is a compelling example of how core values can transform an organization and its people. However, they must be taken seriously by the entire company for this transformation to occur.

Understanding the Power of Core Values

In order to fully understand the power of core values, you’ll need to understand what these values really mean for your business. And let me preface this by saying that they're not just formal statements but the foundation of your company's very being.

  • Creating a Distinct Identity: First off, core values carve out your unique place in the business world. They're the bedrock of your brand's identity, setting you apart and making a clear statement about what you stand for.
  • Steering Decision-Making: These values will come into play in all of your decision-making. Think of them as your navigational North Star, guiding every choice and ensuring they align with your company’s core principles.
  • Shaping the Workplace Culture: In addition, these values will profoundly impact your company culture. They dictate how team members interact with each other and shape the overall work environment, making it a reflection of what you believe in.
  • Drawing in the Right Crowd: Moreover, in today's market, your core values act like a magnet. They will attract employees and customers with similar beliefs, fostering a community around your brand.
  • Building Authentic Connections: Lastly, core values are crucial in forging genuine connections with your audience. When customers see a business living its values, it builds trust and loyalty, turning casual customers into dedicated advocates.

In essence, incorporating core values into your EOS framework is more than ticking a box in your V/TO. It's about embedding these guiding principles into every aspect of your business, ensuring that your strategies are effective and resonate with your company's true spirit.

The Process of Discovering Core Values

Discovering your company's core values is a journey that involves deep introspection and collaboration. Here's how I typically navigate this process with my clients:

  • Facilitating Team Discussions
    We start by gathering the leadership team for a series of open discussions. For this purpose, creating a space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas is crucial.
  • Reflecting on Key Moments
    Next, we reflect on pivotal moments in the company's history. This includes successes, challenges, and even failures. After all, these stories can reveal patterns that point to inherent values.
  • Identifying Common Themes
    As we share and discuss, common themes will naturally emerge. These are the threads that consistently appear in our stories and experiences – a strong indication of underlying core values.
  • Refining the Values
    With these themes identified, we then work on refining them into clear, concise values. This step often involves distilling broad ideas into more focused concepts that truly represent the company.
  • Testing Against Reality
    Finally, we test these proposed values against real-world scenarios. Do they hold up during decision-making? Do they resonate with the entire team? This reality check ensures that our core values are both authentic and practical.

Implementing and Living the Core Values

Once we've identified the core values, the next step is to integrate them into every aspect of the organization. Here’s how we do this:

  • Communicating the Values: Clear and consistent communication is key. We introduce the core values to the entire company during the inaugural State of the Company Meeting. In essence, this ensures that everyone in the company understands the core values and why they matter.
  • Embedding Values in Operations: In addition, we look at how these values can be reflected in our daily operations. This could mean changing policies, practices, or even the work environment. Overall, the goal here is to ensure alignment with the core values across every aspect of the organization.
  • Identifying Common Themes: As we share and discuss, common themes will naturally emerge. These are the threads that consistently appear in our stories and experiences – a strong indication of underlying core values.
  • Regular Revisits and Reinforcement: In addition to rolling out core values at the inaugural State of the Company meeting, core values should be revisited regularly. We integrate them into our meetings, performance reviews, and team-building activities, reinforcing their importance continuously.
  • Leading by Example: Lastly, we look to the leadership team to set the tone. It’s crucial that the leadership team not only talks about the core values but also demonstrates them through their own actions and decisions.

By thoughtfully discovering and effectively implementing core values, we create a strong foundation that guides our company’s path. These values become our North Star, keeping us aligned and focused on what truly matters.

Closing Thoughts: Reflecting on Your Core Values Journey

As we come to the end of our discussion on core values and their transformational effects on businesses, I am interested in hearing about your own journey. Whether you are currently exploring your core values or have already incorporated them into the fabric of your organization, every story is valuable and enlightening. So, I encourage you to share your experiences in the comments section below.

  • How have core values shaped your business? 
  • How have they served as your company's North Star, guiding you through challenges and towards success?

Remember, in the world of EOS, core values are more than just words – they are the essence of your company's identity and strategy. I look forward to reading about how they've influenced your journey and helped steer your company's course.

Is Your Company Ready For a Fractional Integrator?

If you’re currently using EOS for your business and have an EOS Implementer, and you’re considering adding a Fractional Integrator to your team, I’m here to help you explore that possibility. Let's connect for a complimentary discovery call. During this call, we can discuss whether our core values align and how I, as a Fractional Integrator, can help drive transformational change in your business. Your vision and goals are important, and together, we can work towards achieving them.

About the Author Brenda Violette

Brenda Violette, Founder and CEO of Violette Business Services, LLC, is a highly experienced and sought-after Fractional Integrator and Mentor based in Connecticut. With a remarkable track record of over 30 years in leadership, Brenda excels in administration, operations, and people management. As a relentless learner, Brenda actively engages in multiple EOS-based Visionary/Integrator communities and holds esteemed memberships in the FIM (Female Integrator Mastermind) and Advanced Integrator Mastery Forum in Rocket Fuel. She’s also a distinguished Rocket Fuel Mastery Program graduate and a certified Kolbe Consultant™. With a keen focus on driving growth and making a positive impact beyond profit, Brenda guides Visionaries to achieve their strategic goals. Brenda brings transformative value to her clients and partners exclusively with companies operating on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), who are already working with an EOS Implementer or have graduated from the program. Discover how Brenda can propel your business towards significant growth and sustainability while freeing you to fulfill your role as the Visionary. Visit www.BrendaViolette.com to learn more.

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