This week. Wallpaper values.

What are wallpaper values? Wallpaper values are fancy words written on a wall that nobody buys into. And I’m sure you’ve seen this before. I’ve walked into so many people businesses where they have fancy words written up on the walls that they’ve probably paid clever consultants to craft. It looks brilliant, but you look around the office and you just know that nobody buys into those values.

And that is a problem. The reason it’s a problem is because culture is so incredibly important these days. The best talent looks for businesses with a great culture. And if you have wallpaper values, then the risk is that the team just feel like, well, we’ve got values job done. And that is just missing a big trick in crafting a great business with a high-performance culture.

The big question I have for you is, do you have values in your business? And if your values are wallpaper values, are you going to do something about it? And if you don’t have wallpaper values, but you’ve got email values where they’re all on somebody’s email footer, or they exist in some file somewhere that doesn’t count either. Your values are only values if they are things that you really care about. I’m talking about really trying to get to the essence of what makes you, you and your company.

It is a process that takes some time. It’s something that you need to wrestle with, which is sometimes why you get people’s wallpaper values, because they’re treated as a one- or two-hour brainstorming session and then one out. We’ve got wallpaper values. Values done properly take time, and it’s something that you should engage the whole business in. So, if you want to have a great business, if you want to bring great people into your business, and if you want to retain the best talent, understand your values and you’re your management team needs to live by them and that it becomes part of your everyday language and the DNA of your company.

See you next time on Mind Your Own Business.


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Marco Soares is an award-winning business coach in Sussex and is available if you’d like help implementing these tactics.