How to find Individual & Team Values

Value Stories

The question is, do you know what you consider to be valuable? Does your team know what their values are?

There are two kinds of values that both groups and individuals can recognize, they include:

Core values: These are are the ones that come to you naturally. Without them you wouldn’t be yourself. They’re wired into your mindset or your culture and lead to your natural behavior.

Wish values: These are the ones you aspire to have but unfortunately they don’t come naturally to you…at least not yet. It takes effort on your part to remind yourself that these values are important for your success and that you want to give them special attention. After all more interesting than discovering “who you are” is learning who you could become.

What about organizational values?

When it comes to business values are essential and the first step is to recognize and protect what is already valuable and only then can you create and add new ones.

You can only create new value when you protect what is already valuable.

Jurgen Appelo, Managing for Happiness

So what does it take to define our values? There are different ways to delve into what’s important to you. One of those ways is to gamify it, as we so often like to do at Management 3.0 Foundation Workshops.

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How to find your Values? Values Exercise including List of Values

Value List
Management 3.0 Big List of Values – Click to download

In order to define your values and that of your team try using a list like our Big Value List and narrowing them down. First cut the values down to 20, then 10 and then five. You can do this individually and you can do it with your teams as well.

As you start to define the final core values make sure you discuss what each value means to you and your teammates. Keep in mind that the same word might have a different definition to each person, so it’s best to get on the same page so that you can truly embody the values as they’re meant to be understood.

Here are some additional activities to consider when defining your team values:

  • Collect stories of past behaviors that you feel exemplify and illustrate the culture of your team or organization
  • Print the big list of team values, one copy per person and let each team member pick core values and wish values based on the stories you’ve collected
  • Ask management to do the same and compare the results. Choose a final set that everyone can agree on, both employees and management
  • Make the values easy to refer to by keeping them visible around the office
  • Consider turning your values and stories into a culture book that is (preferably) maintained by employees, not by the HR department


Martie Management 3.0

Learn more about Values and Culture in the Management 3.0 Module as well as the view Align Constraints during a Management 3.0 Foundation Workshop.


Have you already tried these Management 3.0 Tools & Practices?

Tools & Practices