What’s your Code of Honor?
Last week, we talked about defining your True North as an organization. Just as important, is this week’s topic – defining your Code of Honor.
We make a lot of promises, to a lot of people every day in the course of doing business, but which promises are the ones that define us? How can we codify all of that information in a meaningful way?
The Code of Honor helps to focus your thinking, by focusing in on three separate promises, each one representing an important part of your organization.
The first promise is the obvious one – the promise your organization makes to your clients and stakeholders. When they call you, what are they guaranteed that your competitors don’t offer? Why should they work with you, rather than someone else? This promise will likely have elements in common with your True North, but shouldn’t be the same idea restated. This promise can tell potential customers what to expect, and it can tell your team how to interact with your client base.
The second promise is the promise your organization makes to its team members. Your team is your most valuable asset, and defining your relationship with them is an essential part of defining who you are. What does the organization (not just you, as the leader, but the company itself) promise to every single team member, from the top of the org chart to the bottom? Again, this answer doesn’t just tell your team (and potential hires) what they can expect from you. It also gives guidance to your team leaders. What are they expected to prioritize in all of their interactions with their team? What does it mean to work for your organization?
The third promise changes direction a little. What do you expect every member of the organization (including yourself) to commit to the company? If you could ask every member of the team to commit to a single promise when they hire in, what would it be? What’s a deal breaker – an element that someone must have in order to be a good fit at your organization? By defining this, we are communicating to our team what our expectations are, and we’re communicating something about our values to potential and current customers as well.
Interested in learning more about how to build your Code of Honor? Listen to this week’s Critical Path episode, or give us a call today!