BM Smith Core Values: the top 3 ways we’ve leaned our values in the last 8 weeks
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BM Smith Core Values: the top 3 ways we’ve leaned our values in the last 8 weeks

BM Smith Core Values: the top 3 ways we’ve leaned our values in the last 8 weeks

We’d like to share you with you a little bit about our process of refining our core values as a company.

With age comes wisdom, and with experience comes expertise. But there are few other things that can come with age that most of us actively try to prevent– things like staleness, mold, wrinkles, and fading.

BM Smith was just recognized as the oldest business in Arlington, VA! What an honor, and a huge source of pride for those of us manning the stations today — our company has staying power, longevity, experience. It’s tried and true.

We’re very proud of our history, yet we don’t want anything to get stale around here. We recognize (as the founder and earlier generations did before us) that stability comes from flexibility. Being pliable amidst winds of cultural change is what keeps our organization vibrant and relevant, rather than brittle and crumbling.

In service to this ongoing effort of bending — and growing! — with the times, the BM Smith leadership team has been refreshing our Core Values, our Vision statement, and our Mission statement.

Our process usually looks like a bunch of us sitting around the table and talking about our thoughts. We read books together, and seek to apply what we’ve learned in our conversations with each other. We scribble a lot of notes on the wall, going back frequently to review. Sometimes it’s a process that feels slow, and at times it feels exciting like we’ve unearthed gems.

Revitalizing our Core Values was a gem-finding process. We worked with one of our favorite consultants, Betsy Frantz, from the Leadership Center for Excellence. She helped us narrow down to 5 key words that conveyed something integral to us about our organization. From there, we worked internally to define our values fresh for this century.

Today I’ll share with you our Core Values, which we are constantly going back to all the time now, and asking ourselves where we need to improve to function in better alignment with those values.

Integrity. Doing what is right even when no one is looking.
Trust. Believing the best of each other.
Respect. Acknowledging the character and contributions of each colleague.
Community. Collaborating to enhance our team & neighborhood.
Achievement. Completing worthy goals with high standards.

Now, in an attempt to absorb these Core Values into the fiber of our company identity, we are facilitating group sessions on a monthly basis with our site teams. We’ve been having some great discussions that remind us who we want to be, where we need to grow, and how we can get there. 

What Core Values do you live by? Have you ever sat down and asked yourself about your own defining Core Values?

Here are the top 3 ways our Values have recently helped us navigate change:

  1. Values help us know when a painful decision is still the right thing to do.
  2. Values have helped us to show appreciation and reward great behavior demonstrated by employees.
  3. Values guided us to make big decisions about who & what we add to our company — both in terms of people and products.