And what that has done for our company.

Externally, core values distinguish a company’s identity, showing stakeholders and consumers what the company cares about and what unique value it offers. They are the guiding principles that define the culture and shape a dynamic team. A well-established identity increases a company’s competitive edge in the market and as an employer. Potential hires are able to determine whether a company’s values align with their own and whether they’re a good fit with the corporate culture. How well the company adheres to its core values demonstrates its integrity.

FBA was looking for core values that not only defined the company but also helped celebrate the best of each individual within the company. We wanted authentic values that were true to who we were, so we could highlight what our people were doing right, not what they should have been doing right. So, we committed ourselves to the prescription outlined by Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business and found that there was value in the process.

The Process and Development

Traction laid out a process for developing core values that was not only useful and practical but also inspiring and motivational. A key piece of the process was uncovering how we as individuals think about our work, our peers, and how we celebrate our best qualities. The book described the process as follows:

Step One

Each team member identifies people within the company who “would lead you to market domination” if you were able to fill the company with copies of those people.

Step Two

Consider the names and the characteristics those people have that set them apart and make them drivers of productivity, positivity, or whatever it is that provides value to the team and company.

Step Three

Narrow down the list by circling important characteristics, crossing out insignificant features, and combining similar elements.

Step Four

Through discussion and debate, narrow the list down further to just three to seven characteristics that you can translate to values that the team agrees are genuinely core to your work.

core values at fawley bryant architecture Bradenton architecture firm

Step Five

After refining those values, “let them simmer” for about a month, and then meet again to finalize the list. Once finalized, create a presentation that illustrates each value with visual aids and supportive examples and use that presentation to communicate your values and their significance to the rest of the organization, as well as your external stakeholders.

We didn’t follow this prescription to the letter, but we committed ourselves to the process and made it work for our team. We started by brainstorming on a whiteboard, throwing out qualities we valued in members of our team. Some of us were introspective. Others were more client-focused.

We also provided the opportunity for individual brainwriting. Then, we looked for unique pieces that represented what we have, not necessarily what we need. Once we narrowed it down, each of us wrote our own version of the core values. Then, we started iterations until we reached what we have now.

FBA’s Core Values

After a year of development, we landed on seven core values that define our focus and how we wish to continuously push ourselves to progress.

Own It.

We as individuals take pride in our piece of the process. For the betterment of our team and the service of our clients, we hold ourselves accountable for the largest and smallest of things.

Focus On Finishing.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

A strong work ethic paired with a purposeful plan succeeds. We set a high personal bar, commit ourselves fully, and finish.

See Your Path.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

Envision success and vocalize your ambitions. We are a strong partner, and we’ll get you there.

Adapt And Evolve.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

We don’t get stuck. As lifelong learners, we embrace change, problem-solve, and prescribe solutions.

Elevate Others.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

Be ruthlessly positive. Achieve a better outcome. Speak the truth with good intentions, but let your actions speak loudest of all. We rise by lifting others.

We Are All Human.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

We all make mistakes. On our good days, we celebrate; on our bad days, we grow. Life happens, and we get it.

Achieve Technical And Creative Balance.

fawley bryant architectural firm in Bradenton core value

Both data and dreams drive our profession. We innovate, iterate, and improve until, together, we reach the desired combination of smart, beautiful spaces.

How do we celebrate our core values?

After working our way through the entire process, we agreed that we needed to keep our core values alive through various events and conversations in the office. As intended, we review, reward, and recognize our team members according to our core values. Every month, we discuss our core values and choose one to celebrate for the month. Each team member will nominate someone who has exemplified the chosen core value that month.

Before each annual review, peers fill out forms for each individual and rank them on their adherence to our core values instead of their perceived performance in the work itself. This way, the focus shifts from what was solely beneficial to the client or to other team members to what was advantageous to the company as a whole.

We apply our core values during the hiring process, as well, to give candidates a clear and accurate representation of who we are as a team, what our expectations are, and to ensure that every new member will fit in well with our dynamic. We are forgiving, we complement each other, we want you to own it, and we want you to finish it. Core values are introduced during the interview process and again during onboarding.

core values at fawley bryant architecture firm in Bradenton
core values at fawley bryant architecture firm in Bradenton

How have our core values impacted the team?

Our team members have been better able to identify and connect with their path within the company and within the team. We maintain core values as a consistent topic of conversation, generating positivity, coordination, and solidarity. Each person strives to supplement their own default strengths and creative/technical balance with the other person in the room, which drives our productivity and ability to produce outstanding results.

core values at fawley bryant architecture firm in Bradenton