What Are Our Values?
That’s a question I’ve been pondering since July. We say “mission, vision, and values.” Personally, I wish we would say “values, vision, and mission,” which would elevate the importance of our shared values. Our values significantly impact our culture, which underpins everything we do. We each have personal values. Some of us can articulate them, others can’t. But they are there. They influence our decisions and are instilled in everything we do.
CofC has articulated the values of – Integrity, Academic Excellence, Liberal Arts Education, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Student Centeredness, Innovation, and Public Mission. I’ve seen several variations of School of Business values, with the last iteration aligning with the articulated College values. That’s a lot to remember.
From day one, I’ve shared my leadership values. You probably know them – Clarity, Accountability, Respect, and Encouragement (CARE). You’ve probably seen times when I lived those values and times I haven’t. Yet, those words guide what I do and how I act.
Mission, vision, values, and learning goals are central to our actions. They should drive what we do. But often, we make them complicated and unmemorable. So, I look for opportunities to make them memorable and resonate. For example, the Walton School at Arkansas does a great job with its values. It’s simply to Be EPIC (Excellence, Professionalism, Innovation, Collegiality).
How might we do something like this for us? It can’t be some gimmick; it needs to be genuine. Earlier, when I was observing “world-class” all around, I was thinking about the word ELITE. It had merit, but in a conversation with Dave Wyman, he mentioned that CARE is so easy to remember because it is 4 letters. That’s a sweet spot. We then bounced a bunch of words around and landed on DARE. I’m not sure it’s the right word, but business involves risk, and we see a willingness to do things differently.
I had a few ideas and then thought, it’s 2023, and we have ChatGPT! So, I typed “create value statements for the College of Charleston School of business using the acronym DARE.”
Dedication: We are dedicated to providing our students with a rigorous and challenging business education that prepares them for success in the ever-changing global marketplace.
Achievement: We strive for excellence in all that we do, from our academic programs to our partnerships with industry leaders, and we are committed to helping our students achieve their full potential.
Responsibility: We take responsibility for our actions and the impact they have on our community, our environment, and the world at large. We instill in our students a sense of social responsibility and ethical decision-making.
Entrepreneurship: We foster an entrepreneurial spirit in our students, encouraging them to think creatively and take risks. We provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to start and grow successful businesses.
These four value statements encapsulate the core principles of the College of Charleston School of Business, reflecting our commitment to providing our students with a world-class education that prepares them for success in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.
Wow. That’s a great start. Is it perfect? No. It needs to be a bit broader by being learner-centric, incorporating research, and including what I call EDIB (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging), all of which are important to us. But those would be easy tweaks.
So, what do you think are our values? It was one of the questions on a survey we did about a month ago. But I’d like to get your thoughts on just this one question.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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For those learning about ChatGPT, here is another informative podcast. This one is by Adam Grant and includes the impact on education and future disruption:
YOU make a difference.