Auditing Core Values

I recently completed the annual audit of my professional mission, core values and the OKRs. Through this process, I conduct a holistic review of the key results from client initiatives, against my mission and core values. Then, I use the trends and learnings from the previous year to evolve my mission, core values and objectives for the upcoming year.


Core Values

I bring these values as the modus operandi to every client engagement. Over the last 4 years, these have helped me achieve an overall 97.8% success rate against the initiative-specific key success factors. Failures, on the other hand, have imparted a deep self-awareness: the ability to recognize situations out of my control and form hypotheses regarding how to best deal with them, work around them or find ways to evolve the mission.

Core values are the heart and soul of a company’s culture. These tell the individual employees and teams how to operate when no one is watching. For instance, the timeless first item in Google’s philosophy,

“1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.”,

guides its teams to make day-to-day decisions that will generate the best possible user experience. This ultimately supports Google’s bottom line through the nature of its business model. It also defines what the users can expect from Google, regardless of the services or products they utilize. This is why I conduct an annual audit; so that I can continue the focus on what helps my clients stay relevant and deliver programs that support their core competence.

The key change in my mission and core values this year is the explicit addition of the word ‘simplify’. As the teams work towards a common goal, it is imperative that the program and product managers focus on how the end-users will ‘live’ with the product/ service. Whether it will simplify the end-user experience or make it more complex, relative to the benefits. If the complexities will rise, the design and business case may require a deeper review. This also applies to the program/ project governance and the team’s experience while working on the problem. Simplified governance and communication strategies help foster focus on the problem, decisions and encourage productivity.

How do you ensure your corporate core values stay relevant and the teams understand how they are applicable to the daily work?

This post originally appeared on my blog:

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A Strategy Officer’s learnings from building, innovating and scaling 35+ businesses in 10 industries.

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Gunjan Syal

I build, innovate and scale success in a way that the results are visible, measurable and repeatable, through responsible innovation.