Jun 25, 2022Liked by Loren Feldman

The issue that I often see when I look at core value, is they either are not really core values or there is no clarifying statement around the value.

For example, if a core value is simplification and that's all you have, others will just make up what it means. If instead, you have simplification - taking the complicated and making it simple, then everyone will know what you're talking about.

The second issue I see is when people say their aspirational values are core values. For example, you might say a core value is you're a learning organization. If this is not true at least 95% of the time and you still say it's a core value, you'll be seen as a liar, both inside and outside your company. If it's an aspirational value, it's fine to have it as a value, but you must label the aspirational value, an aspirational value.

That's my two cents, and there is a lot more I've written about values over the years.

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Having worked for several companies who have leveraged the concept of 'Core Values' to attempt to guide their overarching behaviors, I do find an interesting gap in the article put forth by Kinesis and Ms. Wittbrodt.

The article clearly states Core Values shouldn't be created in a silo, nor should Core Values be created by committee - both very valid and concepts with merit.

However, where this article fails to bring the concept to fruition is: WHO SHOULD be involved in writing such Core Values? Frankly, the article tells you how Kinesis has been writing them for "decades", but goes no further. So, is this just a sales pitch? Or, are we genuinely being told who should write our Core Values?

It is extremely easy to step back and provide commentary surrounding what shouldn't be done. It's a lot harder to step forward and provide a path towards execution. While the article does elaborate on what should be part of Core Values, it still misses the point on who should be writing them. I would say that would and should be the critical aspect of the creation of Core Values.

Perhaps we all just need to call Kinesis - apparently they are the only ones capable of writing Core Values for an organization.

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Jun 26, 2022Liked by Loren Feldman

Hey Ryan.

You might give a listen to the podcast. It addresses some of your questions such as Paul and my belief that values should start from the owner. We also discuss why values can work well within owner-run businesses, but also how they rarely succeed in a corporate (absentee shareholder) environment.

Finally, it’s worth noting that there’s no one “right” way to do the work; these blog posts represent a small slice of our considerable experience. Our hope is to help people avoid some common pitfalls while also making smarter decisions. It’s not a substitute for hiring expertise.

If you want to dive deeper, I’ve written extensively on this topic in my book, “Marketing From the Inside Out,” available on Amazon.

If you know anything about publishing, you know that there’s no real money in being an author. We wrote the book to distill as much of our expertise as possible so that businesses who can’t afford to hire a pro can DIY with a better chance of success. The book is roughly 20+ years of strategies that actually work with owner-run companies.

All our IP and learning for less than $20 is a pretty great deal.

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Thank you for your reply. Kudos for not directly answering what I stated, but instead, using your reply as a platform to pitch your book, which in turn pitches your organization and its capabilities - which is where you make your money (as insinuated by your comment about "there's no real money in being an author").

Having said that, I stand by my original comments. The ARTICLE - not the podcast - referenced as part of the overarching 21 Hats Podcast Episode as supporting materials neglected to provide a full picture of who should be authoring Core Values. I did, in fact, listen to the podcast and certainly appreciate the remarks you made regarding the best ways to leverage Core Values based on organizational structure.

I respect the opinions you've put forth. Alas, my thinking is different - and to be clear, I'm not saying I'm correct and you're incorrect. Just different.

Thank you again for your response.

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Jun 27, 2022·edited Jun 27, 2022Liked by Loren Feldman

Hey Ryan,

Let me first state that I have no affiliation with Kinesis in any way...I've had the opportunity to meet Shawn and I respect his opinions...but I'm not one of his clients (present or former) .

With that said, "Marketing From the Inside Out", in my opinion, is probably the best book on true marketing that I've ever read (or perhaps it's just confirmation bias on marketing beliefs that I've developed by running a modestly successful business over the past 32 years). It essentially states that all marketing is derived from the company's core values...from there a "brand" is developed (what does a company do, how do they add value to their customers, what do they stand for etc.)...and then finally that brand is communicated to a target market that aligns itself with that "brand".

"Marketing From the Inside Out" is NOT a 150+ page advertisement for Shawn or Kinesis...but it does establish the writers (Shawn and Wendy) as being insightful and/or knowledgeable in the field of marketing...whether you agree with their premise, it's still a must read for aspiring marketers, marketing professionals, and business people who many times confuse marketing with advertising and/or sales.

EVERY business has core values...whether they are written down or not. Sometimes those values are to maximize shareholder profits (the Milton Friedman approach) while other companies demonstrate core values more in the line with fostering relationships with employees, vendors and customers (a "Small Giants" attribute).

If a company says one thing and does another - perhaps a restaurant has a written core value for cleanliness (such as McDonalds) and the restaurant is a dump...or maybe the company's core value is quality (Toyota) and the company produces shoddy workmanship using inferior components...then that company has a high probability to fail by not living up to the market's expectations of those core values (or maybe succeed if they do align with those core values)

The company's core values are almost always driven from the top of the organization because they are essentially the ones that make the rules in which the company operates. They are also the ones that have the power to enforce the rules that govern the business.

Just two cents from a small business guy

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