Priorities are the third component of Core Culture, yet not a part of Organizational Identity. These are the values that further guide the organization. There are two levels of Priorities: strategic Priorities and universal Priorities.
Strategic Priorities are the values that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
Strategic Priorities are the values that guide how the Purpose and the Philosophy are put into practice. Strategic Priorities position the organization to achieve its goals. Only a few Priorities should be central to all areas of the organization.
Those few values must support the Purpose and the Philosophy as well as the strategy.
Evaluate strategic Priorities based on how well they will contribute to a successful, thriving organization. Strategic Priorities are relatively stable, but you can change them to enhance your organization’s ability to compete. When your organization is undergoing change, consider altering its strategic Priorities instead of its Purpose or Philosophy. Changing Priorities is a significant change, but it does not tamper with the personality or character of the organization, as long as any new strategic Priorities are aligned with the Purpose and the Philosophy.
The Five Strategic Priority Criteria
- Is it a key value and important standard to guide behavior?
- Is this value important to all areas of the organization?
- If we abide by this value, will we enhance our ability to compete and thrive?
- Is this value aligned with the Purpose and Philosophy?
- Does this value support our strategy?
Key Points about Strategic Priorities
- Strategic Priorities are the key values that guide work.
- Strategic Priorities are the standards for behavior that direct how the Purpose and Philosophy are put into practice.
- Strategic Priorities are limited to a small number of values that are important to all areas of the organization.
- Strategic Priorities are those few values that, when followed by everyone, will enhance the competitiveness of the organization and enable it to thrive.
- Strategic Priorities are relatively stable, but they can be altered to keep your organization competitive, just as long as any new Priorities are consistent with the Purpose and the Philosophy.
Universal Priorities are values that promote an engaged workforce. These values could be universal to all organizations–meaning universal Priorities nurture an enriching and motivating workplace that stimulates exceptional efforts and heightened loyalty. In an ideal world, these values would not be differentiators. But organizations do not uniformly live these values; therefore, the presence of these values enhances the competitiveness of the organization and the absence of these values deters an organization from achieving its potential.
The universal Priorities consist of the following values: fit, trust, caring, communication, achievement, and ownership.
FIT: Do I fit?
TRUST: Do I trust them?
CARING: Do they care about me?
COMMUNICATION: Am I informed and do they listen?
ACHIEVEMENT: Am I growing, developing, achieving?
OWNERSHIP: Do I feel like an owner?
Work is more than an economic transaction; addressing the social and human side of the worker is key to achieving optimal performance. Organizations that live by these universal Priorities create cultures of excellence.