The Results are in on Core Purpose and Core Values

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The Results are in on Core Purpose and Core Values

Category : Blog

The verdict on my testing and proving out one of the key principles of Jim Collins books. 

In the book “Good to Great”, and his other books Jim Collins talks about the power of this principle: Preserve the Core, Stimulate Progress.  For most of my adult life and for the last 8 years in my consulting practice I have been putting this idea into practice with the companies I have worked with as Consultant, Owner and Employee.  Especially in these last 8 years as my practice has grown and I have been using in the building of healthy, effective organizations.


I write the above in caps because for some reason leaders in the marketplace don’t seem to believe it.  In these uncertain times especially, this single principle can be the difference between survival and failure.  If the principle is applied correctly, (like in selecting and managing people and in crafting a work environment), it moves the business forward. But even if you understand and apply just as you see it here, it may be the difference that keeps you going.
The core of your business comes from, understanding why you do it.  This is true of your department if you are a manager, but it is especially true if you own or operate the company.  Understanding why you are in business, that core, ongoing outcome or contribution your company or non-profit delivers in the marketplace, keeps you grounded when things are whirling around and you are being buffeted by the winds of change and uncertainty.

Collins calls this your organization’s Core Purpose and so do I.  I also have found that the same principle is found in each of us as individuals. (Go here to learn more.)
In this world of constant uncertainty it is steadying and empowering for your company or non-profit to develop a Core Purpose.  See my post about Missions to see the difference.
Core Values are the other significant part of the core.  Core Values are the principles that support the Core Purpose and must also be from the Founder or owner.  In the absence of the Founder co-founders or long-term employees are great sources.  (This is all assuming the company or non-profit has had a period of effectiveness that has perhaps waned over time.  The effective period was when these values were being practiced but never codified.)  A great board of directors can also be a good source.  Btw, it the BOARD’S responsibility to preserve the Core Purpose and Values, and good ones do this well. 
These two provide the core of an organization, and are the foundation that keep it steady and true over the years.  If you read Built to Last, another Collins book, this becomes very evident.
But most organizations never record and authenticate their REAL values, so they wither and die. Capturing them and memorializing them, drives excellence in ways that other posts in this blog point out.

So after EIGHT YEARS of testing out the Good to Great principles, I can say without any hesitation that this one is the REAL DEAL and almost “magical”.