I have a confession to make…

I don’t know the answer to this post yet or really understand where it will go but perhaps, through the act of writing it…I’ll figure out the right answer.

So…what’s the question?

You have started a business….Yippeee!  It’s the earliest days of a new baby venture.

So here’s the question – when do you stop what you are doing and determine what kind of business you want to build?

Maybe that sounds like a stupid question to you – maybe you want to create a products business, a software company, a recruitment agency – whatever your heart tells you to go out there and build. But that isn’t quite what I mean…

What I mean is – what are the core values of your company?

Core values – what are they?

Good question Batman – my personal definition (and I’m sure everyone has their own…) is the core values are those beliefs that help to structure the culture of your business and how it treats its employees, its customers, partners, the locality it’s a part of and perhaps, even the world.

And the second part of my question for you and myself too is ‘Can a company afford to have strong core values until its has cash in its bank account?’

Does a business have a responsibility to have a strong set of core value no matter what or is it all about the money at the beginning?

I.e. is it possible, smart or insanity to be concerned about being ‘Good’ when you have little money coming in to survive?

Is it only the rich who can truly afford to support a charity or do we all have to do what we can?

If you are starting a business, do you start off with little core values…maybe recycling the coke cans or do you go for the Big, Hairy, Beastie Core values and hope they don’t tank the business?

Do core values have to have a negative effect on a business or are their important principles all businesses can adopt that should be core to their culture no matter what?

If so – examples please…

Do you business have core values in your business? And if so, are they just words on a page or do you and everyone in the company live by them? How do you make sure that happens?

Really….how?

If you were to start a business, when would you create your core values and when would you implement them?

My hope – my personal hope, is that I would have the smarts, the conviction and the courage to create them from day -1 but if I cared passionately about the business – I don’t know how I would do actually living them…especially when the shinola started to hit the fan…

As an example – I’ve thought about being a vegetarian – but as long as bacon sandwiches with HP sauce exists – that will never happen.

So I could have the principles, but living by them is a near impossibility for me.

Can core values pay for themselves through your market or does it never really pay off?

Any examples anyone?

I wish I had the answers to this one – all I know is that core values are important to creating the right culture…but if you don’t survive then neither does that oh so good culture.

The trick…if there is one…is probably to find a way that they are not mutually exclusive.  Is that possible or just wishful thinking?

Should companies, like people, have a higher purpose?

Can a startup afford to have core values or can it afford not too?

This is one posting where input would be extremely appreciated…

Bacon Sandwich with HP sauce
Bacon Sandwich with HP sauce