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Corporate Values

November 21, 2023

Lately I have had cause to deeply consider the corporate values for the new company I am going to start. I have done a bit of work in this space for a silicon valley company getting ready for their IPO. By luck or by skill (I am not sure which), I ended up writing the long list of desired behaviors for senior management, middle management and the single contributor employees. Once the corporate values were agreed to unanimously by the executive (it is a long process where every word in the corporate values is debated with passion) writing the long list of behaviors started flowing out of me with ease.

Here's what I came up with Don't Drop The Ball

Do what you say you are going to do. Be accountable

Leave a clean wake

If you make a mistake, admit it and fix it!!


Do your best to think about how your actions impact others and the ecosystem.

This is the Oxford Dictionary definition as of November 21, 2023. Those of us who were watching the pandemic closely noticed that the definition of words was changed overnight in some cases, so it's important to be clear on the date and definition of a word.

  • The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness

  • The state of being whole and undivided "upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty"


Do your best to think about how your actions impact others. and the ecosystem.

The Branding and Communications team will not focus on the "climate apocolypse" thing, instead a focus on family and ecosystem health/biodiversity. Yes.. we can be better stewards of the environment, but we do it voluntarily because we care about the planet that future generations will inherit.

I thought I would ask ChatGPT about corporate values just for fun and to see what bias was implicit in the tool. I saw this update to the terms of use. They are updating their terms of use effective December 14, 2023 but you need to agree to them before that to continue using the tool? It looks pretty sketchy to me.

Anyway, I decided to blindly agree to the terms of use and privacy policy so I clicked the green "agree" button.

The next screen was more positive...

Here is what ChatGPT proposed.. Creating a set of corporate values for an environmentally responsible software development app focused on supporting local economies while avoiding support for globalist organizations and NGOs involves a careful balance. Here are some values that might align with your objectives:

1. Environmental Stewardship:

- Commit to minimizing the environmental impact of our operations and products.

- Strive for sustainability in all aspects of software development, including coding practices, server management, and energy consumption.

2. Local Economic Empowerment:

- Prioritize partnerships with local businesses, suppliers, and service providers to contribute positively to local economies.

- Develop features and tools that enhance the visibility and accessibility of locally produced goods and services.

3. Transparency and Accountability:

- Communicate openly about our environmental practices, sourcing policies, and the impact of our software on local economies.

- Hold ourselves accountable for continuous improvement in sustainability and economic impact.

4. Community Engagement:

- Foster community engagement by supporting local events, initiatives, and charities.

- Encourage users to contribute to local causes through the platform, creating a sense of community responsibility.

5. Ethical Sourcing:

- Ensure that goods and services promoted on the platform adhere to ethical and fair trade practices.

- Implement mechanisms to verify and display the ethical credentials of businesses on the platform.

6. User Education:

- Provide resources and information to users about the environmental and economic impact of their purchasing decisions.

- Encourage responsible consumption through educational content and features that highlight sustainable and locally produced options.

7. Data Security and Privacy:

- Prioritize user data security and privacy, ensuring that user information is handled responsibly and ethically.

- Avoid partnerships with organizations that do not align with our commitment to data security and privacy.

8. Innovation for Good:

- Invest in research and development to find innovative solutions that contribute positively to both environmental and economic sustainability.

- Encourage and support employees in exploring and implementing creative ideas that align with our values.

Remember, these values should be integrated into the company culture, reflected in business practices, and communicated transparently to stakeholders. Regularly revisit and assess these values to ensure they remain aligned with the company's mission and goals.

Now... let's get started.. What should we create together? P.S. While we are figuring that out, I think I will head to the beach with my paperback and figure out what this Simon Winchester fellow has to say about the two men that created the Oxford English Dictionary..


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