Reshaping values to propel a world-class brand into the next phase of success
While the Chicago Cubs are cherished for the memories the baseball team has provided for generations of fans, a lesser amount of sports enthusiasts would recognize that this organization has been growing its business operations in many new ventures over the past several years.
As the organization was evolving, it provided the opportunity to build upon and refresh its values, to continue to instill a feeling of marquee moments for baseball fans, while at the same time, set a path forward for growth.
“I believe they [refreshed values] strike the appropriate balance between being a people-first organization and recognizing how important it is to remain focused on driving performance and accountability.”Chicago Cubs Employee
The current values had become flat and uninspiring, with the belief that they didn’t represent the uniqueness of working for the Chicago Cubs. The organization was seeking values that were unique and delivered in ways that would influence and inspire its associates and drive clarity and decision-making.
Gagen MacDonald conducted focus groups with associates to highlight how they view and experience the Cubs culture day-to-day. We wanted to understand their unique perspective of what it meant to be part of a legacy organization that honors its history while forging its future. We captured these insights and then tested, validated and revised core values, constantly seeking what resonated and spoke to them. We excluded anything that they felt did not accurately represent their culture. We took a co-creation approach to ensure their thoughts, feelings and sentiments were reflected in each value and value statement.
The refreshed values were shared at an all associates meeting, which generated the following comments:
- What do our refreshed values say about us?
- “I appreciate how our new values are so centered around how we treat others. These tell me our organization is focused on respect of each other, of our fans, of our history. I have noticed that as one of the biggest differentiators between working here and working elsewhere.”
- How will these values help you in your role?
- “Anything that assists in setting the tone is helpful for a manager. It will help guide decision-making and accountability.”
- “I feel that these values reflect the way my team already operates. The respect component combined with always reaching for ambitious goals prevents burn out and keeps me coming back to the office excited to take on each new day.”
- Which value stands out most to you? Why?
- “Inclusive stands out most. It captures critical traits of collaboration, open communication and respect.”
- “Stewardship stands out the most because I already value stewardship in my personal job, and it’s great to see the organization values that across the board.”
- “I really like the Friendly value about celebrating our wins and losses as a team and that we put our fans first, which makes our jobs so much easier.”
- We are living our Values when we ______________.
- “Can easily identify with them as unique and different and when they are part of everything we say, think or do.”
- “Achieve success for the greater good of the organization via well-thought-out plans while working with others in a respectful manner.”