10 examples of organisational values that aren’t profit
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10 examples of organisational values that aren’t profit

What does success look like to you? Is it making a chunk of money, making a difference to someone, changing the world somehow, or something else entirely?

Sure, making money is cool and, more than that, it is very necessary. There’s no shame in growth and stability, it would be irresponsible to suggest otherwise. However, sole focus on profit as the metric for success or squeezing every last drop out of a sale can lead you along a precarious path. Today, we’re going to look at 10 examples of organisational values that will contribute to your success but that aren’t directly about profit.

  1. Leadership
  2. Compassion
  3. Empowerment
  4. Equity
  5. Teamwork
  6. Accountability
  7. Empathy
  8. Honesty
  9. Doing the right fucking thing
  10. Humility

Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.

Kevin Kruse via Forbes.com

1. Leadership

Sometimes leadership is making a tough call in the face of adversity. Often, leadership is energising your team, standing up for the right things or forging a bold, new path. 

Showing leadership isn’t about unquestioned authority or demonstrating power – it’s about helping people achieve their potential, striving towards a common goal. 

2. Compassion

Be kind. The world can be a thorny place. Think about the last time someone was unexpectedly kind to you when you were having a bad day. How did it make you feel? Did you take it for granted or did it make you feel special, seen or heard? 

Take the time to think about how you can help to motivate others, how you can encourage them and nurture the relationship. When you show that genuinely care, trust and loyalty will follow.

3. Empowerment

True strength doesn’t come from holding power or control. There is a strength in helping people build confidence in themselves and their abilities. All too often, people can feel lost and helpless, over time, this can chip away at someone’s soul. 

When you empower yourself, you realise you can do great things. When you empower your team you show respect and confidence in them, and they will show that in return.

Empowering your audience shows belief and trust that people have immense value and can make the best decisions for themselves. 

We all benefit.

4. Equity

The concept of equity as a value can operate on two fronts: one is the notion of ownership and investment; the other is the tenet that people should be treated fairly based on need and opportunity to achieve parity. Businesses might offer shares or the concept of employee ownership. A cooperative might share economic, social or cultural aspirations. 

These ideas mean that people are more invested in, and directly benefit from, the success of the organisation. Aside from the more obvious advantages this creates, this tends to create a more resilient organisation. 

Showing that your organisation treats people fairly not only leads to better staff retention but increases performance, motivates teams to work on solutions and encourages diversity.

The concept of simply equal opportunity is not enough anymore. It never really was.

5. Teamwork

The idea of ‘teamwork’ can get bandied about in business and is often a euphemism for talking about employees in a way to give the feeling that ‘we’re all in this together’ when the reality can be far from this. 

People love collaborating to achieve things together rather than competing against their colleagues and resenting decisions that were made without their input. True teams are passionate about shared goals and vision, their skills and achievements are not just valued but integral to success. 

Teams shape decisions together so there is a fundamental agreement on strategy, tactics and approach. This not only leads to better outcomes but provides a smoother way to get there. 

6. Accountability

Accountability creates trust and shows integrity. The concept isn’t about blaming and shaming, it’s about building a culture of safety and responsibility. 

A willingness to be accountable shows great leadership and transparency, so people will not only believe that you are going to do your best but that you are willing to learn and improve.

7. Empathy

The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is a superpower. Organisations often behave in a very transactional way – here are the features of our product or service, this is what you pay for

People tend to have the strongest connection to the things they need and the things they want the most, what those things are will change for different people and can change over the course of a day. 

If you build your organisation around understanding people’s motivations and challenges, you can solve real problems and nurture aspirations – creating genuine connections and making an impact on someone’s life. It’s not just understanding what someone needs but also when and how they need it. 

When people share an emotional connection to your brand you operate on trust, loyalty and feeling, without that people tend towards operating on price.

8. Honesty

Nobody enjoys being lied to, think about the last time somebody misled you or didn’t tell you an important piece of information. How did that make you feel? Pretty crappy? 

Honesty in the workplace creates transparency and this permeates through every aspect of your organisation creating a more open, happier environment. There is greater trust when organisations are transparent about their goals and motivations. 

Be the most authentic ‘you’ you can be, you might not win every piece of business or make every sale but you will know that every interaction is based on trust and shared values.

9. Doing the right fucking thing

It has been heartening to see how organisations are evolving, more and more people are concerned with the social impact of their decisions and they respect organisations who do the same thing.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying solely about your ‘bottom line’ or maintaining a veneer to appeal to every market. This isn’t a call to be reckless with the financial health of your organisation or virtue-signalling to the point of piety. It’s about checking your moral compass. Stand up for your values, stand up for people, stand for something

Whether it’s about how you treat your staff or standing against racism on your Twitter feed, just do the right thing.

10. Humility

Being humble and showing humility are often touted as weaknesses or signs of low self-esteem. However, it’s simply the notion that you aren’t better than anyone else – or perhaps better put, that you value others at least as much as you value yourself. 

Much like empathy, this can create a shift from being defensive to being understanding. It makes you approachable and helps to foster safety. It demonstrates that you know that you aren’t always right but you are willing to listen, to learn and to change your behaviour.

Arrogance in an organisation can lead to a lack of foresight which in turn leads to vulnerability. Don’t risk your business on pride or ego, value your team and listen.

Our organisational values work well for us. See how well they could work for you.

Our values are present in everything we do, from the way we respond to emails to the services we offer and the projects we undertake, and we believe our organisation is much better for it. We can help you to uncover and refine your identity, creating a brand that matches your values and your audience, and then we can help you put that into practice through our content and experience services.


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