Your company’s core ideology is your business’ identity. Strip away the business goals, strategies, methodologies, and more, and this is what’s left. Your ideology is made up of your core values and purpose. Today, we’re going over values and how you can develop them for your company.
Here’s the podcast episode:
Or if you’d rather watch the video:
So far, season 2 has focused a lot on understanding internal business mechanisms and values. We’re going to continue on that vein.
Within season 2 we’re starting a series on company ideology and branding. So buckle up because we’re going to dive deep for the next several episodes on how you can better understand your own business, and in turn, better inform your marketing and sales efforts.
Today’s episode is called defining your company’s ideology values.
What Is a Core Ideology
Your core ideology is your business’s identity. No matter the technological advances or developments in business strategy, your identity is your identity. Your business may go from local to regional, to national, to global. Your identity stays the same, even if your tactics, strategies, and goals change.
So ideology is made up of two parts; core values and the core purpose. Today we’re going to focus on the values.
The Core Values of Your Organization
Your core values are your organization’s principles. It’s the few beliefs that you hold to be true.
Johnson & Johnson CEO Ralph Larson said it best, that “We have core values because they define what we stand for. We would hold them up even if they became a competitive disadvantage in certain situations.”
What this means is that there isn’t a right set of values. It’s true, and it’s different for each company. You can emphasize great customer service without it being one of your core principles.
There are some companies that do not hold quality as one of their core principles. When you think about it, if the quality was not a measurement for success in our industry, would we still want it to be important in this company? If the answer is no, then it’s not a core principle or value.
Maybe being on the leading edge of technological development is as a core principle. So maybe quality is not, but innovation is. That’s how you need to move.
Walt Disney’s Core Values in Their Business
Walt Disney has core values. You should probably have about 3-5 core values. The best and longest-standing companies don’t have any more than five.
Disney has gone way beyond animations. We’ve got theme parks all around the world, as well as Disney-themed hotels, stores, toys, clothing, costumes, etc. It’s embedded deeply within our culture, and it goes way past animation.
The Acquisition of Marvel: Creativity, Dreams, And Imagination
The best example I can think of is Marvel. Disney owns Marvel and they’re crushing it. How does Marvel tie into their core values? Well, one of their core values is the pursuit of creativity, dreams, and imagination.
Superheroes have captured the world’s imagination, whether it’s children or adults. The sort of following that these movies have is almost baffling. I mean, I love both the movies and the comics, but the firestorm they created has been amazing.
Just the other day, we were watching Avengers: End Game, and I’m cheering and yelling at the TV because… er, wait. I don’t want to ruin it for you. You won’t cheer if you know it’s coming.
A Disney Streaming Service: Control over the Disney Magic
When we look at another one of Disney’s core values, which is control over the Disney magic, you can better understand one of their latest business moves.
Disney is pulling away from Netflix and developing their own platform, which we’ll have to subscribe to because we love Disney. And if they’re not going to be on Netflix anymore, what am I going to do? I’ve got four kids. We need Disney. I see another subscription in my future.
Disney isn’t a technology company, but they’re willing to offer a technology platform for consuming their content in order to hold true to one of their core values, which is control over the Disney magic.
At first, it just seemed like Disney was being petty. Why are they trying to pull this from Netflix? Why is Disney making their own platform? It costs money to do that. And that’s true, but it holds to their values.
That’s the thing about values. Even if they’re a disadvantage, Disney has assessed that in the long run, building this platform and hosting their own content holds true to their values, and is therefore true to their identity as a company. So I’m sure that we’re going to see some awesome things coming from Disney.
Establish Your Core Values Now
As I said, 3-5 values are probably about what you want to have. It’s something that you’re going to have to think about. You can even have core values for a department, as the head of a department.
However, if you’re a CEO of a growing or even an established company, and you’ve never gone through the exercise of establishing company values, you really should. This goes for things beyond “We value trustworthy relationships with our clients.” Oh Geez. I was looking for an untrustworthy company, so I guess I should just move along.
Don’t say things that don’t really mean anything. Some things are just a given. So if you are going to say something about trustworthiness, you’re going to have to make it really good.
Ask yourself, when you’re considering your values, whether you’d still want these values if there was no benefit, but an actual disadvantage to your company to hold these values? Would they still be values that you’d want to hold at the company’s core?