So What Are Values and Why Are They Important?
Values are deeply held principles that people hold to when making decisions. Individuals express their values though their behaviors. Organizations express their values through their working culture.
Research shows that there is a strong link between financial performance and the alignment of an organization’s operating values to the employee’s personal values. Who you are and what you stand for is becoming just as important as the quality of products and services you provide.
In Corporate Culture and Performance, John P. Kotter and James L. Heskett show that companies with strong adaptive cultures based on shared values outperformed other companies by a significant margin. Over an eleven-year period, the companies that emphasized all stakeholders grew four times faster than companies that did not. They also found that these companies had job creation rates seven times higher, stock prices that grew 12 times faster, and profit performance that was 750 times higher than companies that did not have shared values and adaptive cultures.
In Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras show that companies that consistently focused on building strong corporate cultures over a period of several decades, outperformed companies that did not by a factor of 6 and outperformed the general stock market by a factor of 15.