There are many recent articles and talks around organizational culture. Culture, or what it is defined as organizational culture, is not as important as it is being preached. Values are.

Values are the most important aspect of a consciously assumed entity, be it individual or organization. They are the foundation on which the culture emerges and evolves. I’m not saying culture is not important, it is, but it’s just the effect of the values framework. Culture does not determine values, values determine culture.

I believe that for a team, or a company, what should matter most are the core values. Core values are those beliefs that one can’t dismantle into smaller “raisons d’être”. In the end, all beliefs are choices that we assume.

Some organizations tend to overestimate tools by placing them in their value framework. The way we communicate tends to be the most glorified tool. Communication is just one of the means to achieving a goal. If we emphasize on communication as a core value, then we most likely end up with a very chatty organization. But when one emphasizes on delivering business value, communication remains a paramount vector to achieve the goal but is by no means squandered on useless meetings or brainstormings.

I believe it’s of paramount importance for an organization (or individual) to determine the values they uphold in their mission. I know I’m talking heuristics here, but my belief is that, even if there are many ways to fail, there is an intricate connection between mission and values that can set one on a crash course or the path to success.

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