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“Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” – Peter Drucker

Once your culture is established, it is difficult to change, however the formulation and communication of your core values will help create the culture in your organization.

Core values are the basic principles that guide behavior and establish the company culture.  Many management experts will say that the establishment of your company’s core values is the most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your business.  Core values will guide the behavior of your organization with all stakeholders at all times, even when you are not there. 

Company values should

  • Establish an expected level of service
  • Outline the importance of a particular activity
  • Establish standards of behavior and guide this behavior
  • Communicate the importance of customers, community and other stakeholders

For example, Merck, a company that produces pharmaceutical products and provides insurance for pharmacy benefits, publicly states the following values:

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Unequivocal excellence in all aspects of the company
  • Science-based innovation
  • Honesty & integrity
  • Profit, but profit from work that benefits humanity

And Walt Disney, an entertainment business states their values as follows:

  • No cynicism
  • Nurturing and promulgation of “wholesome American values”
  • Creativity, dreams and imagination
  • Fanatical attention to consistency and detail
  • Preservation and control of the Disney “magic”

Home Depot.  We are a values-driven company and our eight core values include the following:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Taking care of our people
  • Giving back
  • Doing the “right” thing
  • Creating shareholder value
  • Respect for all people
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Building strong relationships


  • Dedication to every client’s success
  • Innovation that matters, for our company and for the world
  • Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships

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