Core values are a fundamental aspect of any organization. They define its culture, help to guide decision making, and give employees a clear sense of what’s important to the company. But even though they’re so important, many organizations don’t spend enough time thinking about them or communicating them effectively. That’s why this article is here to help you figure out how your organization can use core values to improve both internal and external communication.


What are Core Values?

Core Values are the beliefs and ideas that are shared by all members of a group. These core values drive behavior and priorities, so they are especially important for an organization in which you want people to act in certain ways. Core Values should be aspirational, not just descriptive. For example, “integrity” isn’t as good as “we always do what’s right.” Core values should also be words that describe behaviors you want from leaders and members in your consortia or alliance (not just descriptions of yourself). Having a list of core values helps guide conversations about what is important for everyone involved with your organization, whether it’s talking about marketing strategies or developing programs.


Determining Mission, Vision, and Brand Identity

Core values resonate throughout the mission, vision, and brand identity of your consortia or organization. These organizational components of your consortia are used to communicate your core values to leaders and members as well as potential recruits and the community. These are also used to distinguish your consortia or association from competitors and the rest of the market. The mission describes what your consortium does, the vision describes where it’s going, and brand identity helps you communicate who you are as an organization. Developing these three elements of your organization must heavily consider your core values, and is a process that involves collaboration with your leaders and members.


Culture, Leadership, and Morale

Core values can be thought of as the foundation for your culture, leadership, and morale. They are the basis for your culture because they are a set of guiding principles that employees live by. It is important to not only select core values that you believe in, but also ensure that employees adhere to them. Core values are represented by your leaders because they act as a model for behavior within an organization. Leaders should exhibit these traits in everything they do – from daily interactions with coworkers to how they communicate externally with members or clients. These will become the guiding principles for consortia members who have joined together because they share common goals and interests. In addition to identifying what is most important to their culture and member morale, it’s important that leadership hosts regular conversations about how each individual can contribute toward achieving those goals (and hold each other accountable).


Goal Setting

Core values help with goal setting and organizational priorities. They provide a framework for developing goals and creating strategies to effectively communicate your core values to the market. Core values help with motivation and direction of an organization. They help to guide the behavior of staff members, volunteers, board members, partners and others involved in your organization’s activities towards the consortia’s goals and member satisfaction. Core values also impact decision making by providing clarity about what is important to you as an organization or as an individual acting on behalf of your consortia.


Recruiting and Hiring

Recruiting and hiring are important functions for any business or organization. In the context of a consortium, where you have multiple partners from different industries, it’s even more important to make sure that your team has the right mix of values. Core values help you attract the right people and understand what makes them wake up in the morning. When potential team members come into contact with your brand or consortia for the first time, you want them to think “that’s me!” You want everyone on your team to be able to get along well enough so that work flows smoothly and productively without friction caused by differing core values among team members. Viewpoints or personal ideologies may be diverse among members, which is positive, but the core beliefs should all be aligned which creates your culture. Core values also help retain those same people because if they see how well their core beliefs align with yours (or realize that they don’t), then there’s less friction in staying on board. After all, if someone doesn’t feel comfortable working at a company whose core values don’t align with theirs – even if they’re being paid well – they’ll leave eventually anyway. 



The bottom line: core values can help you build a strong culture and create your brand identity so it is represented appropriately to internal and external parties. A clear set of core values will also help you attract and retain talent, which is crucial for any organization’s success. Core values are represented by leaders and resonate throughout its members. By identifying your core values, you can properly set the direction of your organization and consortia and distinguish yourself from the competition.


More About IEEE-ISTO

ISTO was established in January 1999 to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing technology alliances, consortiums, technology associations, and working groups. ISTO provides the infrastructure and support for market standards, industry standards development and/or market adoption of emerging technologies. Our offerings like technology association management, not for profit alliance management, member satisfaction, IT industry standards, are diverse, comprehensive, and customizable to address all your program’s needs. 


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