What makes you tick?

Published April 21, 2016 10:02 pm by Mark Hollingsworth

The answer is easy, right? It’s your heart. From a physical perspective we all know that without our heart beating properly it’s difficult to live a healthy life. Every organization or business has a heart also. When the metaphorical heart of your business is beating properly, the organization grows and sustains life; when it doesn’t, organizations flounder or even fail. Part of an organization’s “heart” are its core values—the lifeblood of its culture.

Every organization operates from a set of core values, whether spoken and communicated or just assumed, that are established by management or ownership, depending upon the size of the organization. In many organizations these core values are not clearly defined or communicated to employees and staff—and are lost in the day-to-day chaos. By not defining your core values you have no way of knowing who believes in them and who doesn’t. And when employees don’t embrace your core values, their actions can hamper progress. On the other hand, when they are clearly defined, communicated and alive, they truly define organizational culture and identity. So how do you discover and define your core values?

First, establish your leadership team and build a list of all of the qualities and characteristics of people in your organization that you want to embody. Build as long of a list as possible. Second, circle the ones that are truly important, cross out the ones that are not and combine the ones that are similar. Third, discuss and debate which ones are really core to your organization. Fourth, ideally you should narrow the core values down to three to seven. Take time, several weeks, and sit with your list. Finally, communicate your core values with the entire organization. Once they are defined, you must hire, fire, review, recognize and reward people based upon your core values.

We have defined our core values after going through the process. They now embody every component of our culture at LoSasso:


Living our Core Values

Core Values are the underpinning of everything we do. Living our core values is the key to making our work and workplace the best it can be.

The LoSasso Core Values: Our PACT

Passion          Accountability          Creative Insight          Team-Focus


Passion: Every LoSassin must share a desire to make our work and workplace the best it can be. This requires vigilance, selflessness and a commitment to evolution and self-driven learning.

Everyday examples of passion:

  • Be competitive about our clients v competition; win market share first and awards second
  • Challenge ourselves, clients and co-workers to do better work every quarter
  • Share our knowledge; blog, teach, mentor


Accountability: We take ownership of our work, do what we say and own our mistakes. We look for measurable impact in our work and in our client relationships; our job is to measure what we can and accomplish defined goals. We are knowledgeable enough to be confident but wise enough to never be arrogant.

Everyday examples of accountability

  • Excellence at the fundamentals: arrival, timesheets, end-of-day-status emails, estimates, respect for deadlines
  • Complete guidance to the producing team: creative briefs, client input, assets, estimates, Basecamp project management
  • Communicate the job status so client-facing team and producing team stay on the same page


Creative Insight: Insights inspire creative solutions and imagination. Creativity can come from anyone. Effective creative is driven by an understanding of the target—what they need and care about and how we can help them. Great creative work adds the layer of imagination and insight—making the messaging, strategy or approach unique and powerful. Our job is to uncover insights; then use them to drive creative solutions that make emotional connections and drive sales.

Everyday examples of creative insight

  • Creativity comes from anywhere
  • Develop personas to understand the human needs and motivations related to our work
  • Solving client business issues creatively


Team Focus: A team mindset is critical for an effective and rewarding work experience. We collaborate transparently with co-workers and clients towards a common goal. We embrace the responsibility to be a good teammate. We work hard to maintain a positive culture by being relentlessly optimistic and seeing every challenge as an opportunity.

Everyday examples of team focus:

  • Discuss solutions, not problems
  • Being self-aware—positive energy inspires hard work, negative brings people down
  • Check in with your team before leaving


So what makes you tick?