Created at the company level, values are a set of overarching rules that set the context and the boundaries. Typically, values outline “how things are done around here’ and are expressed in the collective behaviours of your company. If the people in your company are aligned to a set of widely agreed overarching values and these values are reflected in their actual behaviours, then you achieve synergy. If the behaviours are misaligned to the values, or there are conflicting values across the company, then you get anarchy.
In their classic Good To Great, Jim Collins and Jerry Poras explain that your core values are a small set of timeless guiding principles that require no external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the company, and are largely independent of the current environment, competitive requirements, or management fads.