How to Create Core Values that Make a Difference


Most companies that reflect upon and create core values for their organization do it once, create a plaque, and post it on the wall to be forgotten. One company that does it well is Zappos. There are several things I admire about what they do.

I love how they created values that are statements rather than just words. Many times I see that companies have values such as integrity, respect, and responsibility which are a great start. Take a look at Zappos’ values.

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

Notice how they begin with a verb and give more direction than just a noun. In our work with clients and the research that was done in the book, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, we found that Stage Four tribes had clear core values that provided a decision making framework. This is a lot easier and more effective than rule books and policies.