Values: What essence of you will be embedded in your business?
Your business has most likely started as a result of something you are passionate about. Perhaps it is a problem you have identified to be solved, or a niche in the market you have spotted. Whatever the reason, the business has started as a result of you (you in this instance can mean a collective you as well as individual). Consciously or otherwise, your values will be guiding how and what you do in your business, and will affect how you want your business to be and feel - the culture you’re creating. Growing your business means taking on people with their own values, views, experiences and influences - good and possibly not so good. So how do you keep what you have created, or want to create as you grow? Defining and articulating organisation values early in the life of the business can provide a consistent reference point for all aspects of your enterprise.  Do they support your brand and business in the eyes of your customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders? If not, how could they and will this help you/your product stand out in your industry? Use values to drive unity of approach in your leadership team and the standards and expectations of all staff. Is trust important to you? Then demonstrate this consistently in the way you work with your people – from your management style, the way in which performance is managed, how you make decisions to the reward structures you use and how you develop your people. Reflect them in your employer brand too. Being explicit about what you believe in can help you attract like-minded people who will engage readily with your business. That talent will likely stay too if values are genuinely part of how you do things, and we all know how vital retention of relevant skills and knowledge is for a growing business. Your business will change as it grows. Some change will be your choice, some not. Consciously articulating and embedding values early in your business can provide constancy and stability to navigate those changes and control your direction.  So, excuse the pun but surely that’s got to be of value to you, hasn’t it?

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Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus