Defining Core Ideology
What are your core values? Are you thinking: why do we have to talk about this?
Because… It’s who you are.
A core ideology is something you discover by looking inside. It is not something you can fake or guess, and you can’t hide away from it. Well, you can try. But it’ll keep showing its head until you start listening.
At Craft & Communicate, one of our goals is to practice what we preach. For the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing our core ideology: how to find it, and what to do about it once it’s discovered.
We’re focusing on two questions today that we came across while working on core values:
- How do you define your core ideology?
- How do you communicate your core ideology?
To begin with, we had to answer our Why’s: Why we are in business, and why we chose this business. Start with who you are and what you do, and then ask at least 5 times, why do you do this? Craft & Communicate provides the service of Craft and Communication, why is that important?
- We feel we can do this better and more efficiently than our competitors.
- We have a competitive advantage through many years of experience and a dedicated, small team.
- We know who we are and we have no desire to grow to be a big business (staying small allows us to fully know each of our customers).
- We value efficiency of well thought out communication.
- We believe being a part of a community is what makes the human experience worthwhile (which relates back to why #3)
When this is blurred, as Wendell Berry states, “the shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation” we will never find one, much less five of the Why’s of what we are doing and where our core is centered.
Now that we have our Whys, we can look more closely at our ideology:
What is a core ideology? In essence, it is that which you would still have if you lost your job, if you switched businesses, if you got rid of everything you own. It’s the essence of you, it is what it is your glue. Your core values do not change based on your customers. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: you only select the customers who match your core values.
What is our core ideology?
This is the thing that has never changed, and never will, from job to job, from day to day:
- Responsibility – representing our products and services for what they are; nothing more, nothing less.
- Accountability – our intentional, small company allows us to stay conscious of all moving parts and projects.
- Accessibility – messages are crafted and implemented to our audience as well as each of our client’s audiences and their known parameters, limitations and abilities.
Know that our list of Why’s and our core ideology didn’t always resonate with us….it takes quite a bit of time and difficult conversations to fully understand a person’s or business’ core ideology.
Core Values: A Look at Disney
Everyone has heard of Walt Disney. The Disney Corporation was founded on the following core ideology:
- 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.
Imagine if Walt Disney had conceived of his company’s purpose as to make cartoons, rather than to make people happy? We wouldn’t have Disneyland, EPCOT Center, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks Hockey Team, or Mickey Mouse. That’s how important the Disney Core Values are: they have proven to us all that our imagination is powerful as long as we are fanatically consistent and always keep our core values in check.
Redoing your business requires help. Discovering your core values requires patience, and more help. Rebranding or restructuring is not easy, and it is essential that your core values are in place from moment to moment. Every employee has to be on board, or you have not selected the right employees. Simply selling a product or service because that’s what you think you should do will infinitely keep you in the dark.
Your core ideology should not be confused with your business goals. Your core values should last 100+ years. Your business goals should change many times over.
Imagine what you could do with a well-defined Core Ideology!
Need help discovering who you are? If you’re looking for core ideology development or strategic development of your Why’s, give us a call to see how we can guide you through this process.