[Related post: Corporate Sadness]
I’d like to see corporate value statements read more like these examples, which I’ll call value expressions, because expressions are generally more open than statements.
Value Expression for a publicly traded company
- Our primary concern is to make money for our shareholders. To do this we need our employees to do what is necessary to create short-term profit. This may go against your better natures, cause you to make suboptimal decisions, or even create an air of aggression and competition within our organization. To be successful we need you to find your own way to enjoy this strange, dehumanizing culture, and if it truly becomes intolerable make a conscious decision to move on. This is our reality today, and we prefer not to disguise it with platitudes and feel-good slogans.
Value Expression for a tech startup
- We value you—heart, mind, body, spirit with all your history, dysfunction, emotional complexity, quirks, samenesses and differences, with your hopes and aspirations. Do your best. We trust you.
In this second example there is really nothing more to say. All that nonsense about innovation, creativity, communication, collaboration, growth, passion, learning, etc. is absolutely unnecessary. You are a startup. Of course you value those things.