ProfitabilityYour teamAll Blacks core values


What sort of Culture does your company have?

One of the main foundation stones I help my clients develop is a written set of core values, or the Company Culture. It is a vital element of a successful company and one that is often left to chance, or ignored altogether. Get it wrong and it can help to drive away your best customers and your best team members. You may have faced one of these situation in the past:

  • A team member with a bad attitude who constantly complained about your company and its managers.
  • You been part of a team with a person who didn’t work as hard as the rest
  • You worked for a company in which one old-timer is not required to follow the rules or learn new systems and technology

Any sound familiar? These people drag down the atmosphere to their level and make it unpleasant to be around them. To develop a happy, productive and positive company, everyone has to work together, follow the same rules and maintain positive attitudes. Simple, but not always easy.

Developing this positive culture can happen organically, but the danger is that it will decay organically as well and often quite quickly. A better way is to proactively drive what sort of culture you want in your company by having everyone contribute and agree to a common set of core values that help guide people’s actions day-to-day.


Too “touchy-feely”?

When looking to develop this common set of core values in my clients’ companies I often come up against some passive resistance from some team members. “This is a bit touchy-feely for me” “That may be okay for big corporates. We’re just a small crew”. Understandable comments from blokey, tradie types, so the best way I have found to illustrate the benefits of an agreed culture is to use sporting examples. The best example here is The All Blacks.

The All Blacks are the most successful professional sports team in history….for any sport. We are lucky in NZ to be blessed with a good supply of great players, but that alone does not make a champion All Black team. Just look at The Blues in comparison. Plenty of good players, but perennial under performers. The All Blacks have something extra and that extra is known as their First XV Core Values. What it is to be an All Black and how “the team” absolutely comes first.

You don’t need to have 15 core values, in fact I think that’s too many for any organisation. Five to ten should be plenty and they don’t need to be in corporate-speak type language. “No dickheads” is one of the All Black core values for example. Make them relevant to your team and your situation. They also need to be aligned to YOUR personal core values, if you are the company owner. It’s your company after all so you have the final say as to what the list will contain. On the other side, you don’t want to push your choices on the team without their input. You are not Moses coming down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments.

This is one of these Important but Not Urgent quadrant activities (unless you have a particularly toxic culture that needs fixing now). I encourage you to make it a project for the whole team to work on and then make sure it is lived every day.

Get in touch if you want help to implement a culture change process in your company.

Fill in the inquiry form at or email me direct at