My team and I are working to incorporate our core values into our company culture. We’re talking about our core values regularly and writing blog posts to talk about how we live out our values every day.

But yesterday’s webinar (watch now!) with Chris Edmond’s reminded me of an important area we’ve missed.

Every core value needs to be tied to desired behaviors in our organization. We cannot measure performance and alignment of behaviors to our values without first identifying the behaviors we desire.

It’s nice to be able to rattle off our values: generosity, responsiveness, integrity, partnership, growth, and flexibility. Far more important is living the values, and values are lived and displayed by our behaviors.

What do we do that shows we value responsiveness? What do we do that shows that we value growth?

I asked Chris: What is the ideal number of core values for any organization?

Chris says 3 values is desirable because 3 values = 9 behaviors. 9 behaviors are manageable to measure. If you have 10 values = 30 behaviors, it becomes far more difficult to track.

With our 6 values, our next step as a company is to identify the 3 most important behaviors for each value. Once we do that, we will have 18 desired values-aligned behaviors to work toward, measure, and celebrate. This feels do-able.

Has your organization identified values? Have you crafted an organizational constitution?

If not, Chris’ new book, The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace is an excellent resource. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy for yourself and other leaders in your organization — today.

Find more inspiration from Chris’ book at and send him a tweet @scedmonds to congratulate him on the launch of his book.