How Do You Ensure Your Company Stays Aligned With Its Core Values During Times of Change?

How Do You Ensure Your Company Stays Aligned With Its Core Values During Times of Change?

In an era of constant change, we've gathered insights from CEOs and managing directors on how to keep a company's core values front and center. From pivoting with core values intact to upholding the user experience amid crisis, explore the diverse strategies used by nineteen enterprise executives to navigate their organizations through transformation while staying true to their foundational principles.

  • Pivoting With Core Values Intact
  • Core Values in Rapid Expansion
  • Rejecting Culture-Clashing Acquisition
  • Upholding Values in Company Growth
  • Navigating Merger With Core Values
  • Rapid Recruitment With Compassionate Care
  • Maintaining Principles in Growth Phase
  • Expanding Services, Preserving Excellence
  • Balancing Growth With Client Success
  • Pivoting Services During Pandemic
  • Transitioning With Transparency and Innovation
  • Innovation and Excellence in Expansion
  • Adapting and Upholding Core Values
  • Family Values in Business Evolution
  • Customer Focus Amid Financial Crisis
  • Client-Centricity in Digital Adaptation
  • Values Integration During Merger
  • Staying True to Customer Service
  • Navigating Tariffs With Quality Focus

Pivoting With Core Values Intact

As the CEO of Startup House, I once faced a situation where we had to pivot our business model to adapt to market changes. During this transition, I made sure to keep our core values of innovation and customer-centricity at the forefront. By involving our team in the decision-making process and communicating openly about the reasons behind the change, we were able to stay true to our values while evolving our strategy. It was a challenging time, but by staying true to our core beliefs, we were able to navigate the change successfully and come out stronger on the other side.

Alex Stasiak
Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

Core Values in Rapid Expansion

I recall a pivotal moment when Spectup was expanding rapidly, and we faced the challenge of maintaining our core values amidst the growth. We had just acquired a smaller firm to enhance our market-validation capabilities, and the integration process was more complex than anticipated. There was a risk of diluting the company culture that had been the backbone of our success.

During one of our executive meetings, I brought up a concern that some of our long-standing team members were feeling disconnected and worried that the new processes and people might overshadow our core values of innovation, transparency, and client-centricity. We decided to take a proactive approach.

We organized a series of workshops and town-hall meetings where both new and existing employees could voice their thoughts and concerns. We revisited our core values, emphasizing their importance and discussing how they should guide our actions and decisions, especially in this time of change. One particular workshop involved small groups creating action plans for how to embody these values in their daily work, which were then shared company-wide.

Niclas Schlopsna
Niclas SchlopsnaManaging Consultant and CEO, spectup

Rejecting Culture-Clashing Acquisition

A massive tech company once offered to buy Flycast Media. The financial security was incredibly tempting. However, the deal had some red flags. Their corporate culture clashed with ours—they valued efficiency over creativity and hierarchy over collaboration.

We faced a tough decision. The money was great, but sacrificing what made Flycast Media special wasn't worth it. We talked openly with our team, reminding them of our core values. Instead of selling, we explored other options, focusing on partnerships aligned with our culture. It wasn't easy, but in the end, we walked away from the deal.

This decision paid off. We found new partners who shared our values, and Flycast Media thrived. This experience solidified the importance of staying true to our identity, even when faced with significant changes and tempting offers. It reinforced that maintaining our core values is key to our long-term success.

Shane McEvoy
Shane McEvoyMD, Flycast Media

Upholding Values in Company Growth

Maintaining our core values at Write Right during times of change has been very important. A memorable example was during our rapid-expansion phase. As we grew, it was essential to uphold our commitment to quality, integrity, and customer satisfaction.

During this time, integrating a larger team while preserving our company culture was a big challenge. To handle this, we created a strong onboarding process that focused on our core values. We also conducted regular training sessions and workshops to reinforce these principles. Open communication channels, like regular team meetings and feedback sessions, were established to ensure that all team members, both new and old, understood and embraced our values.

We also faced the temptation to take on more clients than we could handle efficiently. Staying true to our value of quality over quantity, we decided to scale our operations responsibly. For example, instead of overloading our team, we focused on providing exceptional service to our existing clients, which helped us maintain our reputation and client trust.

By sticking to our values, even during growth and change, we made sure that our expansion did not dilute the principles that made Write Right successful. This approach has helped us build a strong, cohesive company culture and sustained our long-term success.

Bhavik Sarkhedi
Bhavik SarkhediCMO, Write Right

Navigating Merger With Core Values

During a significant company merger, our executive team recognized the need to align the company with its core values of integrity, customer focus, and innovation. We launched a comprehensive internal communication campaign, including town-hall meetings and regular updates from leadership, to reinforce these values. Cross-functional task forces were established to gather employee feedback and address concerns, ensuring inclusive decision-making.

Demonstrating our commitment to our core values through transparent communication and active engagement, we successfully navigated the merger, maintaining organizational integrity and a unified company culture, and reinforcing trust with employees and customers.

Daniel Bunn
Daniel BunnManaging Director, Innovate

Rapid Recruitment With Compassionate Care

The moment I joined my new organization, I was forced to release and recruit workers for a whole facility in under 14 days. To facilitate this, I enhanced communication and made our purpose clear, which ensured we were guided by the core values. In selecting employees, not only did they have to be skilled, but also willing to join us in offering compassionate mental health care services.

We introduced comprehensive orientation courses aimed at imparting our principles among recruits, while keeping frequent touchpoints with them so as to verify that they remained on track at all times. With such an attitude, we could re-establish ourselves quickly without losing sight of what we stand for, thereby improving the quality of patient care in the end.

Mark W Lamplugh Jr
Mark W Lamplugh JrChief Executive Officer, South Jersey Treatment Management Company

Maintaining Principles in Growth Phase

Fuel Logic underwent a significant growth phase; we encountered the task of upholding our fundamental principles of dependability and prioritizing our clientele. The increase in our service zone by 50% in just one year necessitated a swift expansion of our processes and the integration of additional team members.

To guarantee consistency, we started a series of community forums where I directly shared our fundamental principles and objectives. This direct interaction played a key role in strengthening our dedication to dependability and client support. Moreover, we introduced a mentorship initiative linking fresh recruits with seasoned staff to embed these principles from the beginning.

A particular example occurred when a new regional manager proposed taking shortcuts in safety inspections to achieve delivery targets. Although this approach could have boosted immediate performance indicators, it undermined our dedication to safety and dependability. We opted to allocate more funds for training and equipment to guarantee compliance with all safety guidelines without compromising our quality of service. This decision preserved our principles while improving the spirit among the team and the confidence of our customers.

By always putting our fundamental principles first, even when facing major shifts, we preserved our standing and enhanced our position in the market. This strategy has been crucial in managing expansion while remaining faithful to the essence of Fuel Logic.

Eliot Vancil
Eliot VancilCEO, Fuel Logic

Expanding Services, Preserving Excellence

In my role as COO at The Glasshouse, ensuring alignment with our core values during times of change is crucial. One significant period of change occurred when we expanded and enhanced our event services to better cater to our clients' diverse needs. This expansion required us to maintain our commitment to excellence, innovation, and client-centric service.

To achieve this, we engaged closely with clients through surveys and feedback sessions, shaping our new service offerings to meet their expectations. We invested in extensive training programs for our staff, equipping them with the skills needed to adapt to new processes and technologies while maintaining our high standards.

We prioritized transparent communication with all stakeholders, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration. Rigorous quality assurance measures were established to monitor and improve our services continuously. Additionally, we integrated advanced technologies, such as state-of-the-art AV solutions, to enhance the event experience and operational efficiency.

These efforts ensured that we successfully enhanced our event services while maintaining client satisfaction. Clients appreciated the improved quality and innovative aspects of our offerings, reinforcing their trust in The Glasshouse. This experience underscored the importance of staying true to our core values during times of change.

Gianluca Sardo
Gianluca SardoChief Operating Officer, The Glasshouse

Balancing Growth With Client Success

When you are facing a high-growth phase, it can be very difficult to remain committed to supporting existing customers. It's really easy to find yourself so focused on new growth that your commitment to the continued success of the people who got you this far falls by the wayside. Having a core value surrounding the successful use of your products by your clients can save you. You never want to find out that you created a churn issue because you were too focused on tomorrow. Find balance.

Jeffrey Cronin
Jeffrey CroninChief Strategy Officer, Zenwork

Pivoting Services During Pandemic

I can remember a time when we had to ensure that Stone City Digital Inc. stayed aligned with its core values during times of change. It was early 2020, and the lockdowns had just been announced, first in the U.S. and then in Canada. One after another, our clients called us to tell us to stop working because they didn't know if they could pay us. Everything was falling apart for them and for Stone City Digital Inc.

Our clients were telling us to stop their marketing and communications services when they needed our services more than ever. We might have considered stopping, but what our clients really needed from us was for us to pivot our services from client acquisition to employee communications and client retention strategies—and quickly! That's just what we did.

Instead of stopping our work, we told our clients that there was too much to do and we couldn't stop. We agreed that “if you survive, we'll survive,” and we'd worry about the bills later. We agreed that we'd take care of each other and we got down to work, helping our clients communicate with their employees and their clients.

It was a bumpy ride, but most of us survived the pandemic, and everyone who survived is still an amazing client. We had to face the change and chose to stay aligned with our values of honesty, integrity, and authenticity. We chose to be bold, stay connected, and help our clients connect even when our circumstances were uncertain. Today, we are all stronger because of it.

Christy Falkenberg
Christy FalkenbergCEO & Founder, Stone City Digital Inc.

Transitioning With Transparency and Innovation

I served as the Chief Growth Officer for Oak & Eden Whiskey, where staying true to our core value of quality over quantity amidst rapid business expansion was pivotal. Faced with increased demand, we resisted the temptation to cut corners. Instead, we focused on enhancing our supply chain processes and maintaining strict quality control measures. This ensured the consistency of our product and strengthened our brand's reputation as a premium whiskey producer, true to its craftsmanship and innovation values.

Similarly, when co-founding Glow Therapy with my wife, we were determined to keep our core values of authenticity and customer-centricity at the forefront. Introducing a new product in the highly competitive skincare market during a global pandemic was challenging. We prioritized customer feedback and iterative product improvements, often engaging directly with early adopters through social media and email campaigns. This transparent approach fostered a loyal customer base and helped us navigate the uncertainties while staying true to our mission of delivering high-quality, effective skincare solutions.

Cameron Gawley
Cameron GawleyOwner, Cameron Gawley

Innovation and Excellence in Expansion

During my time spearheading the expansion of a major diagnostic imaging company into São Paulo, we faced significant challenges in ensuring our core values of innovation, excellence, and compassion remained intact. One specific instance was during the rollout of a new AI-driven diagnostic tool. There was initial resistance within the team, as many felt unprepared for such a drastic change in our operational methods. To maintain alignment with our values, we organized comprehensive training sessions and open forums where employees could voice their concerns and offer feedback. This process eased the transition and reinforced our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.

Another pivotal moment came when starting Profit Leap, our AI-powered business acceleration firm. We were determined to ensure that our core values of customer-centricity and data-driven decision-making were ingrained in our operations. We launched HUXLEY, the AI business advisor chatbot, to streamline business operations for our clients. Despite the complexities of integrating such a sophisticated tool, we maintained close communication with early adopters, gathering feedback and making iterative improvements. This approach resulted in a substantial year-over-year revenue increase for numerous clients, proving that staying true to our core values can lead to substantial success.

Lastly, during the expansion phase of our diagnostic imaging branch, we encountered significant operational and financial challenges. To stay aligned with our core values of excellence and transparency, we instituted regular financial health check-ups and cross-departmental reviews. We also sought professional financial consultations to ensure prudent decision-making processes. This meticulous approach to transparency and financial integrity helped secure significant investments and allowed us to maintain high operational standards, underscoring the importance of our core values in guiding the company through periods of change.

Victor Santoro
Victor SantoroFounder & CEO, Profit Leap

Adapting and Upholding Core Values

At Riveraxe, we ensured alignment with our core values even during times of significant change. One critical instance was when we decided to pivot our development approach to adopt Agile methodology. Despite initial resistance from some team members used to traditional methods, we stayed true to our core values of authenticity and transparency.

We held multiple company-wide meetings to explain the shift, emphasizing the benefits of iterative development and continuous user feedback. This transparency built trust and buy-in from the team. As a result, our project completion time decreased, and client satisfaction improved due to the increased flexibility and adaptability we brought to each project.

Lastly, in response to changes in market demands, we expanded our service offerings to include mobile app development. Staying client-oriented, we ensured that the transition was seamless and that our new services were up to the same high standards. This adaptability allowed us to meet evolving client needs without compromising on the values that have always defined our success.

David Pumphrey
David PumphreyCEO, Riveraxe LLC

Family Values in Business Evolution

One significant instance where aligning with our core values was crucial occurred when I stepped up as CEO of Five Guys Roofing. Our family business was at a pivotal transition, aiming for substantial growth. Despite the operational and structural changes, we remained steadfast in our core values of “Family First” and “Serving People.” For example, as part of our strategy to adopt straightforward pricing, we emphasized transparency and fairness to our customers.

Another notable challenge was integrating customer engagement platforms like Podium and PulseM. These tools enabled us to handle real-time customer feedback and concerns more effectively. By doing so, we strengthened our relationship with clients without compromising our core value of exceptional customer service. Feedback garnered through these platforms prompted us to implement swift improvements, ensuring that customer needs were met promptly and reinforcing our commitment to service excellence.

Our community service initiatives have also played a vital role during times of change. Whether it's through local events or volunteer work, we continue to prioritize community involvement as part of our business ethos. By encouraging employees to participate, we ensure that our mission of serving extends beyond roofing projects to support wider community welfare. This holistic approach keeps us grounded in our core values, regardless of how much the business evolves or scales.

Jonathan Stowell
Jonathan StowellCEO, Five Guys Roofing

Customer Focus Amid Financial Crisis

During my tenure as the president of Greiner Buick GMC, I faced multiple instances where aligning with our core values was essential amid change. A notable example was the 2008 financial crisis, which severely impacted the automotive industry. Our core value of customer satisfaction guided us through this volatile period. We maintained transparent communication with our clients, offering flexible financing solutions and personalized services. This approach not only sustained our client base but also earned us numerous Best in Region Customer Satisfaction Index Awards.

Another significant instance was during the sale of Greiner Buick GMC in 2021, when we remained steadfast in our commitment to ethical practices and community support. We engaged in open and transparent negotiations, ensuring that the transition was smooth for both our employees and customers. Our adherence to these core values not only facilitated a successful business sale but also preserved our reputation as a trusted and community-focused organization.

David Greiner, Esq.
David Greiner, Esq.Owner, Greiner Law Corp

Client-Centricity in Digital Adaptation

During my time as founder and CEO of Cleartail Marketing, we've faced multiple occasions where staying true to our core values was essential, especially during transformative periods. One notable example was during the introduction of marketing automation tools for several of our clients.

We emphasized our core value of transparency by thoroughly educating our clients on how these tools would benefit their operations. We held detailed training sessions and offered continuous support to ensure smooth adoption. Our commitment led to significant improvements in their lead generation efforts and overall customer engagement, with one client acquiring over 400 emails per month using LinkedIn Outreach.

Achieving such results wouldn't have been possible without a firm adherence to our core values of innovation, transparency, and client-oriented service. Even during times of significant change, keeping these values at the forefront allowed us to deliver exceptional results and maintain strong client relationships.

Magee Clegg
Magee CleggCEO, Cleartail Marketing

Values Integration During Merger

As General Counsel and Head of Finance at LLC Attorney, I've encountered several instances where staying true to our core values amid significant changes was critical. One such situation arose during a significant merger where cultural integration was a sizable challenge. The target company had a starkly different work culture and operational style.

In response, we launched a “Values Integration” program. It was aimed at bridging the cultural gap, emphasizing our core values such as transparency, innovation, integrity, and customer-centered services. We held regular town-hall meetings, encouraged collaborative sessions, and invited feedback to deepen mutual trust and acceptance. This facilitated a smoother transition, maintaining our focus on core values, and ensuring that all employees felt valued and heard throughout the change process.

Maintaining core values in times of change is about more than just stating them. It is about integrating them into every decision we make and demonstrating them through actions, even more so in transitional moments.

Jonathan Feniak
Jonathan FeniakGeneral Counsel, LLC Attorney

Staying True to Customer Service

While running OneStop Northwest LLC, we faced several moments where staying true to our core values was crucial during times of change. One notable instance was during the acquisition and transformation of OneStop Solutions LLC into OneStop Northwest LLC. Maintaining our core value of high-quality customer service was paramount. We conducted extensive stakeholder meetings and surveys to understand their concerns and needs, aligning our integration strategy accordingly. This approach ensured a smooth transition and reinforced our commitment to delivering exceptional service irrespective of internal changes.

Dylan Cleppe
Dylan CleppeCo-Founder & CEO, OneStop Northwest LLC

Navigating Tariffs With Quality Focus

At Altraco, we've navigated numerous market changes over our 40-year history, always ensuring we remain true to our core values of quality, reliability, and innovation. One situation that stands out is the imposition of tariffs during the Trump administration. Our immediate challenge was higher material costs and disrupted supply chains, which threatened our commitment to cost-effective, high-quality manufacturing solutions.

To stay aligned with our values amidst this external pressure, we implemented several strategies. First, we prioritized open communication and collaboration with our suppliers. For example, we created shared quality checklists and scheduled periodic in-person meetings, which bolstered trust and improved our ability to meet product specifications despite tariff-induced complexities. This proactive approach ensured we could maintain the high-quality standards our clients expect, even under challenging circumstances.

Additionally, we diversified our supplier base to mitigate risk. By expanding our sourcing beyond China, we countered the immediate cost increases caused by tariffs and enhanced our long-term stability. We sourced from multiple regions, which allowed us to find the best manufacturers for our clients' needs while keeping costs and risks manageable. This strategic flexibility exemplified our commitment to reliability and innovation in maintaining a resilient supply chain.

Throughout these changes, our focus on building and nurturing strong supplier relationships has been crucial. By investing in these partnerships, we've been able to continue delivering on our promise of quality and reliability, effectively turning a potentially disruptive situation into an opportunity for improvement and growth.

Albert Brenner
Albert BrennerCo-Owner, Altraco

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