In business, core values are well-known statements commonly known beliefs and commitments. Yesterday, I shared The Washington Post story on Facebook that sparked my interest and many of my readers too. This article is called Why schools aren’t businesses: The blueberry story.
This article has great points but, I believe educators can take a few principles from some great businesses and apply them to our school. This led me to take an inside look at the core values of highly-engaged and successful companies. I was intrigued to learn what makes them successful, what they believe, and how they do business.
Before you read any further, let me preface my thoughts by saying this: I’m not saying we need to run our schools like businesses. Students are not “things” to be mass produced. We simply can’t cut our losses and move on. We just can’t do that. My thoughts are solely inspired by how businesses recognize and have a firm stance on their core value system.
Take for instance the values of Google, Zappos, and Coca-Cola.
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
3. Fast is better than slow.
4. Democracy on the web works.
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
6. You can make money without doing evil.
7. There’s always more information out there.
8. The need for information crosses all borders.
9. You can be serious without a suit.
10. Great just isn’t good enough.
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble.
1. Leadership- The courage to shape a better future
2. Collaboration- Leverage collective genius
3. Integrity-Be real
4. Accountability-If it is to be, it’s up to me
5. Passion- Committed in heart and mind
6. Diversity- As inclusive as our brands
7. Quality- What we do, we do well
Core values aren’t just pleasant sounding phrases, posters, and inspirational statements painted on a wall. They are everything to a business.
In schools, we can create and apply some of these same values. If done in the right way, these core values can be the foundations of the school. They can become what the school is known for and is identified with. The core values are the reasons the teachers get out of bed every day. They are why we do what we do and how we do them.
So you already have your mission statement and your vision of your school. Create a list of core values to support, shape the culture, and reflect what your school values.