Institutional Excellence:

Corporate Culture

Shared Values

What Links Your Organization and People Together

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing." ~ Oscar Wilde

25 Lessons from Jack Welch GE (case study) Shared Values Corporate Culture Corporate Vision, Mission, Goals Team Building and Teamwork Intellectual Cross-pollination Inspiring People 25 Lessons from Jack Welch: PUT VALUES FIRST Shared Values Corporate Culture GE (case study) Case Studies Shared Values Ten3 Business e-Coach: why, what, and how GE: Building an Extraordinary Organization (case study)

Need for Clearly Defined Shared Values2

  1. Most employees, especially knowledge workers, need to know who you are and what you are and what you're about. Your talented people are looking for a "values fit" with their employers. Without it, they won't give you their best and will ultimately leave.

  2. Values define what is and isn't acceptable they become your organization's code of behavior. And making decisions without a  code of behavior, especially in volatile times, is much more difficult and risky.

The Tree of Business Success




12 Effective Leadership Roles

A. Create an Inspiring Vision & Lead by Example

  1. Create an inspiring vision; establish shared values; give direction and set stretch goals... More

Techniques to Create a Shared Purpose2

  • Engage employees in creating a list of values that define what your organization stands for

  • Define and reinforce your mission through some type of document or other formal language

  • Organize orientation and training programs that emphasize corporate values

  • Use both structured and unstructured opportunities to socialize with colleagues and supervisors

  • Organize "storytelling events" and document corporate histories that dramatize guiding values

  • Work out a unique, shared corporate language that reflects values

Shared Values Defined

Shared values are what engender trust and link an organization together. Shared values are also the identity by which your organization is known throughout its business areas. These values must be stated as both corporate objectives and individual values. Every organization and every leader will have a different set of values that are appropriate to its business situation.

9 Signs of a Losing Organization

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Earth (Corporate Culture):

  • Shared values link the organization together; all employees live the values...More

Establishing Shared Values


Ensuring employee's understanding of organization's values and vision requires your organization to have clearly defined values. Without this, your organization can get itself into real trouble.

Defining shared values is more than putting words on paper.  Most organizations have values statements or mission statements; yet many do not follow them. Winning organizations create successful cultures in a systematic way using various approaches that may include visual representations, training seminars, and/or socializing events.

Inspiring Culture: 5 Elements

 Case in Point  General Electric (GE)

Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of GE, believed that the only way to lead is to talk about company's values, not numbers. He said, "Numbers aren't the vision; numbers are products. We always say that if you had three measurements to live by, they'd be employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. If you've got cash in the till at the end, the rest is all going to work, because if you've got high customer satisfaction, you're going to get a share. If you've got high employee satisfaction, you're going to get productivity. And if you've got cash, you know it's all working."

Nowhere GE shared values take on greater importance than on a small, wallet-size card that GE employees now carry with them. GE's values are so important to the company, that Jack Welch had them inscribed and distributed to all GE employees, at every level of the company. But before the cards were furnished to the staff, GE had come to consensus on which core values it wanted to cultivate in its employees. Many hours were spent at GE's Leadership Institute and elsewhere deciding on exactly what those values should be. "It became a badge of honor not only to carry the card but also to uphold the values."3 As Jack Welch notes: "There isn't a human being in GE that wouldn't have the Values Guide with them. In their wallet, in their purse. It means everything and we live it. And we remove people who don't have those values, even when they post great results."

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

 Case in Point  Silicon Graphics

Silicon Graphics (SGI) has a set of values, for which it annually gives "The Spirit of SGI" awards. Winning employees are nominated and selected by their peers as capturing and promulgating the essence and spirit of SGI values. The prizes include trips to resort locations such as Hawaii.

 Case in Point  Nike

Nike create a winning culture through visual representations of their values: competitiveness, inclusiveness, and action.

 Case in Point  Intel

At Intel, every new employee participates in seven seminars during the first year of employment that cover the company's values, culture, and business, and spell out the employee behaviors that go along with living the Intel values.1

SYNERGISTIC ORGANIZATION (Ten3 Mini-course) - How To Build a Modern Winning Organization




  1. "The Centerless Corporation", by Bruce A.Pasternack and Albert. J. Viscio

  2. "Leading on the Edge off Chaos", Emmet C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy

  3. "Jack Welch and the GE Way", Robert Slater

  4. "The Link Between Individual Learning, Collective Learning and Ethics", Hubert K. Rampersad

  5. "Relentless Growth", Christopher Meyer,

  6. "Venture Catalyst", Donald L. Laurie


  1. Synergistic Organization, Vadim Kotelnikov

  2. Inspiring Corporate Culture, Vadim Kotelnikov

  3. 25 Lessons from Jack Welch, Vadim Kotelnikov