Episode 17 | Integrating Your Values

Mar 13, 2023

Description: This week we sat down to talk more about the importance of values and how they have the potential to shape what type of clients you attract. Plus, we leave you with some extra yummy fresh picks as well as, a couple more women’s history reccos. So grab something to sip on and join this week’s conversation all about integrating your values!



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Kerri: Hi, and welcome to the Flourish and Friends podcast. I’m your host, Kerri, and I’m here with my friend and collaborator. Hi Esther.

Esther: Hey, Kerri. Hey friends. 

Kerri: Our goal for this podcast is to create an avenue for our flourish community to gather around important conversations that lead to more growth and more flourishing.

Esther: Yeah, nothing is really off the table because how we lead our lives spills into how we lead at work, and overall, our brand reflects that, especially as creatives. 

Kerri: We care a lot about values here at Flourish, and so we’re gonna be talking more about values and how to approach values from a brand and creative perspective. But first, let’s start with our fresh picks this week. Esther, what is sparking joy for you right now?


Esther: So this week what’s sparking joy is Korean fried chicken. I might’ve already talked about how Asian food here is just unlocked onto another level, but one of the first meals we had, at a Korean restaurant one of the items was Korean fried chicken, and we had never experienced it before.

I don’t know why, it is essentially crispy fried chicken tossed in a delicious sauce. Like a sweet, spicy sauce. and it stays crunchy even though it’s covered in sauce. I don’t know what the magic is, but you will finish every crayon fried chicken plate that is served before you. But we’ve been obsessed.

We’ve had it probably If not every week, every other week, Cody’s always asking to go get Korean fried chicken. but yeah. Is this something that you have had, Kerri? I’m just gonna say maybe it is?

Kerri: Yeah. Oh yeah, definitely. It’s a big deal. Yeah. Koreans love Korean fried chicken. Koreans love chicken in general. Lots of chicken. I mean beef too. They have a lot of like bulgogi and other, other things. But yeah, K F C is a very big deal. And it’s the sauce, it’s the flavor. It’s, it is really unique.

I, the big thing in Korea is like Kfc and like beer that together is just like,

That’s the thing. You drink some refreshing beer, have your K F C and then go out for Nori Bong, which is karaoke. So it’s definitely a big part of the culture. I’ve never actually made Korean fried chicken, but I’m sure Mon Chi, have you heard of Mon Chi?

She’s like this famous YouTuber that teaches Korean food. I’m sure she has her recipe.

But there’s no good Korean fried chicken places that I’ve found. Someone can correct me. There’s no good one in Kansas City,

Esther: Yeah. That means there’s a market

Kerri: I know we’re just honestly kind of low on high quality Korean food in general. Like, I mean a lot of it’s very fusion, which is fine. I mean, it’s America, so it, that’s what we do. We take food and Fu-Fusionize it, but I’m so glad that you, have access to quality K F C because it is life changing,

Esther: There’s a, there’s a place, so there’s Korean barbecue. They also offer Korean fried chicken cuz if you serve Korean food, anywhere here you have to offer cream fried chicken as well. so there’s a place close, but then there’s that like more of a chain that is very much like Kfc and beer.

Like that’s what you go there for. That’s a bit farther, but it’s, it’s walkable we’ve been there a few times. We definitely order takeout from. and yeah, it’s just so good. Seek it out next time Love, love, love, love. 

Kerri: If anyone’s offering you any kind of Korean food, just take it and At least give it a try. You may not love it, but most people like it or love it.

Esther: Yes, I agree. All right, Kerri, what’s something sparking joy in your life right now?

Kerri: I guess I’m continuing on the kind of food theme, food adjacent This is uh, something that holds food there’s a company, a great company here in town called Convivial. I know Esther, you know of them. They have these ramekins Are awesome. I use ’em every day. We use ’em every day. They’re just like the great size.

They also look so polished, and I guess I should explain what Convivial is. Convivial is a ceramic studio, so they do handmade ceramics, they have home goods, candles. They do a lot of, like plate wear faces, lots of different things.

I’m highlighting today these ramekins because I use ’em a lot and it’s a great, again, another great gift item. I got ’em. I got them as a gift and I think they’re one of those things where I probably need to buy like 10 more of them because they’re just so great and they are handmade. 

So like you have to, I mean, we hand wash them, you might not have to. And they are ceramic, so use them with care, but they’re also just like a great everyday things and you can put whatever you want in ’em, a little snack, some nuts.

You just put anything you can imagine, put in a ramekin, you just elevate it with the convivial, ramekin

Esther: Yeah, I can imagine. everything convivial produces is so beautiful and minimal. I love it.

Kerri: And the texture. I just love the texture of the ceramic. I just really really like it. So, yeah go convivial!


Kerri: So today we’re talking about values. And how to lead through your values and how values weave into what we do as brand leaders, as leaders in general. values are something we care a lot about here at Flourish and we thought it would be great to just kind of do a little mini deep dive into what values are, boiling it down, pulling in our different perspectives on values. 

So, there’s a whole other topic we could talk about personal values. So discovering your own interpersonal values, and I would really recommend going back to episode nine and listening to Maki’s podcast, it was touched on a little bit and there are just a lot of resources out there about digging in and finding your own personal values.

I say that knowing we were, we’re not gonna go all the way into it. It is important to really know what that is for you, because that’s how you make decisions as a human.

But today we’re gonna really be talking about. Brand level values and organizational values we’ll, we’ll touch on the personal as well too, but we thought it might be interesting to kind of think through an organizational lens as well. 

Because values are something that probably, I would say 90% of organizations have articulated in some way, which is fantastic. I think it is important to do is if your organization has values making sure that those values are really defined.

Because if your value is, say something like success or authenticity or relationships or connection, pick a word. Everyone’s gonna define that word in a very different way. So as a brand leader or as a leader in your organization, making sure there’s shared language around what these values are and also what they mean is really important.
So that would be a place that I would start. 

Your website might already have a tiny little breakdown of what our organization feels about this value. And that’s great. But sometimes those words aren’t, they’re more surface level. So I think taking the opportunity to kind of put a magnifying glass to that and as an organization, look at what those words are. Are these the right words that reflect us right now and or us moving into the future as well?

Because maybe your values are kind of generic and you’re in a place where you wanna shift into the future and adopt some different values. Or maybe you have too many values and you wanna kind of really hone it down too.

So if you’re thinking about going through that exercise something I would encourage you to do is to kind of. Look at and try to gather information. We love research. Gather information on where your brand’s history, where these values came from. You know, maybe how they were formulated and how they have been lived out. Through your brand’s history, through your organizational history, because by asking those questions, you’re gonna uncover a lot right there.

Maybe those values were not selected in a very thoughtful process. Then you know that maybe your company has really struggled around innovation. So that’s why they chose this value of innovation 10 years ago. So if you start to peal back the layers on in your organization and really ask th this question, these questions, there’s a lot of area for exploration, which as leaders, within exploration, there’s o the opportunity for opportunity. And so values are just a great place to really dive in and dig in on that as well.

If you’re, if you don’t have organizational values and you’re thinking about defining them or deciding what they are, always really start with your brands, why your mission, vision. Those are always a great place to start. And if you’re thinking about selecting your values or refreshing them? 

I definitely encourage it being a group exercise. I know it’s hard when you have so many people at a table and you’re trying to wordsmith or pick things and make group decisions, but view this as an opportunity for the bigger conversation around who we are. Where we’re going, how we’re perceived, What our challenges and barriers are, what our opportunities are and values are, is just an excellent space to embody, to start to ask those questions. 

The more stakeholders you invite to be at that table, strategically invite. You know, maybe it’s your board member, a volunteer, a frontline staff member, someone who’s a client. The more people you invite to be at the table, the more inclusive that process is, because you might say, oh, our value is definitely compassion, and someone else might not experience it that way. So then you can have a discussion about it. Okay, that value is aspirational. This is how we wanna shift from values to practices.

So I’ll talk a little bit more about shifting from values to practices in a little bit but I wanted to hear from you, Esther, a brand that you feel really lives their values in, you know, who they are, what they do, and the way they show up in their, in their company.

Esther: Yeah. I love what you said about how we can peel back the layers of existing values. I think sometimes it is a, a long process. And then also, thinking from a perspective of an entrepreneur, a lot of the times things shift and you start getting new direction on where you’re going.

And I think it’s okay to open that door of shifting values. . Another thing I was thinking of is like how our values should lead us to action. And so if out of reach, then they’re not gonna lead to that action either. A company I think of is Trader Joe’s a huge fan of Trader Joe’s.

I shopped there every week when I lived in the States. But I just did a little bit more digging and read about their core values. I had a feeling that they lived them out and I just didn’t know practically what that looked like. So a few of their values are caring for the community, integrity and sustainability.

And if you go to their website, you click on each one and it goes to a whole nother page of how they’re outworking it. They describe themselves as a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores. So a lot of their emphasis is on the grocery store itself. You might know if you step into a Trader Joe’s that it’s not a typical grocery store where it’s just brand after brand after brand.

They offer a product and they are mostly private label. And so a lot of their focus isn’t on acquiring new brands Trader Joe’s is kind of like, if we find a product that really aligns with our values, we’re gonna add it to our shelf.

Other than that, we’re just gonna keep producing and shifting into products that we feel our customers want or need and deliver it. Another practical thing to put focus on the stores is that out of the. Whole company, 99.5% of the crew or their employees are in the store, so only 0.5% are corporate, which they are saying it’s an intentional decision.

Like we aren’t focused on, on all these other things. So we can actually make each individual store feel. Like a truly neighborhood store, trying to get that heartbeat of what their neighborhood is all about and deliver what they need or want. So if you go to different Trader Joe’s across the country, you’ll probably see that there’s different products offered because they’re responding to those things.

They also, so sustainability is really important to them, and one of the ways that they outwork it is not being open 24 hours to cut down on the energy it takes running a store. And then also not having a huge footprint. So each store is a smaller place rather than like a big box store.

And then they also don’t offer delivery. So a lot of grocery stores nowadays are pivoting and offering delivery, but they’ve made a conscious decision not to do it because it’s not good for the environment to be making a single trip for maybe just a few products rather than Having people come in and do their grocery shopping. 

They’re really committed to both having a safe and welcoming environment for the crew members, but also their customers. And something that got me really excited is that they’re actually being intentional. They put out a statement on diversity and inclusion in December of last year of their plans to open stores in under-resourced neighborhoods.

So I think in the past it’s been like Trader Joe’s are in the really nice, rich neighborhoods. But they are actually making, they see the, the oversight and they’re making steps towards equity and I think in Kansas City, I think of like how many food droughts there are, and how they’re able to step into that and fill that need.

And then another core value I loved is caring for the community. They are committed to donating any food that is unfit to sell, but not yet, going bad to local food recovery agencies. So spreading the wealth and food to even those that are in need in each community. So I think just embedding that into their brand as a grocery store is really cool.

Kerri: Trader Joe’s is such a good example of this in the ways you’ve highlighted. Like even if you hadn’t done the research on those words, like you probably could ask people who are Trader Joe’s customers and they would come a similar, similar concept, even if it wasn’t verbatim, because it is really community focused and it’s just one of those beloved brands because of these values, even though these values are maybe invisible they don’t like necessarily plaster, these values like on their wall, but they’re living it out and people are brand fans because of that. Absolutely. 

And I love that. with the DEI like that they, they have such power to bring more. More healthy and sustainable food options to places where it isn’t accessible, and so that they’re taking steps in that direction is huge and is gonna make a really big impact because food is one of our core human needs and yeah food deserts are a very, very real thing in this country, so that is cool.

I hadn’t heard about that, but I’m excited to see that in action and just the ways that they can, they can impact the community and really be community focused in that way. So Trader Joe’s is such a good example of what I wanted to just touch on next, which is really shifting from values to practices or values, to action. 

This is something we really talk about with brand inclusion of this spectrum of optics to authenticity or being performative versus being authentic and where you fall on that spectrum and values is very much a thing that. you can kind of hold that spectrum up to and kind of think through where are we falling on this spectrum right now? 

It’s one thing to say we value something and it’s another thing to actually practice it and invest in it. I would love to see more values pages, like it sounds like TJ’s has, which is, these are our values and this is what we’re doing about it. And actually backing that up with action. 

And the thing is, you can’t, you can be overwhelmed by value because there are so many different areas that you could focus on, but through the process of asking what should we invest in, what is our kind sweet spot right now? It doesn’t have to be forever. It allows you to really, again, put language around it. Put investment in, put strategy around it, and it’s gonna show up in all of these areas of your programs or services or the ways that you’re caring for your clients or the community. 

So, I would, again, encourage a lot of encouragements in this episode, but if you’re thinking about values reflecting on values talk about that shared language and then really talk about what are those practices that we can put into place and that actually back up and support those values. 

Esther: I think that a lot of the time we underestimate the power of language as well and how it can bring everyone into alignment. And so I think that’s the importance of vision statements, mission statements is this is language to bring focus to what we’re putting energy towards. And rather than you know, we’re gonna sit alone in a boardroom, come up with this.

And just plaster it on the wall working it into the language of every day leadership. It doesn’t have to be bringing up every value, but having that at the forefront of this is what we’re gonna talk about and kind of naturally like, the more that goes in your mind of these values, the more it’s gonna come out.

Like when you get around and think of strategy, think of campaigns, think of all of these things, you’re gonna have those values of your organization already set in place in your mind because every time leadership gets together, every time your team gets together, you’re, you’re bringing them to the forefront and you’re bringing attention to them. Language is so, so important and it shapes our thoughts, it shapes our ideas, it shapes everything that we do, end up doing, you know?

Kerri: I love that. And that segues really nicely into this concept of using your values as a decision making tool. So like you were saying, for campaigns or idea generation, we can harness our values to help make decisions and figure out what we wanna focus on. When you go through and reflect on your values, reflecting around what the language is, what the practices are, you can also think around what are the ways in which we could incorporate this value into existing decision making processes or any sort of system that we have. 

Another thing that you can do is use values as an internal advocacy focus. If you have leaders who are maybe lagging on certain initiatives or services because they are stuck in a scarcity mindset or have a lot of fear around something that you’re trying to do that you know would be important. 

I think bringing it back to values is always really important and saying, Hey we, we say this is a value and this is a way we can actually live it out. Let’s have a discussion about that. And it can be a door opener too, because doesn’t mean you just because I say this is the value everything that I wanna happen’s gonna happen, but it’s an opportunity to use that shared language to build bridges both internally within your organization, within your leadership, and also externally with the people that you’re collaborating with, partnering with in the people that you’re serving as well.

Esther: Yeah. And I think when your values are clear, you are going to start working with people that align with your values more. Um, I think of just like how I’m more of a contract worker. I, I. aide in creativity for other brands very often. And a lot of the time I have to make the choice of if that brand is in alignment with my values.

And I have done work for people that the values did not align and that relationship did not last very long. And so I think, doing research into that as a, a creator is really important as well. I think going back to again, like what are my values, but then what is as an entrepreneur, what are the values that I am wanting to shape my future with and, and how can I use those to attract people like-minded. That are going after the same things?

Yeah, and I think as a contributor as well it’s my responsibility to take hold of the language, take hold of how it’s being used, and then also let that influence me in creation as well.

A couple practical things that I would suggest if you are in the same boat is just to do your own reading on the website, does this brand have their values laid out. Then ask questions to those that are leaders and piece out if there’s something that doesn’t make sense or even just like having a conversation around those values, I think can really help inform you as you are creating for them.

Yeah. And then once you start, what a lot of the times what I do is I’ll take something that’s already in place. Maybe it’s a blog post, maybe it’s a course. Taking language verbatim from that, and then tweaking it so it fits the platform I’m using it for. But also the more I, I reuse the language, the more it becomes natural for me to speak.

So as a, a contributor’s perspective, latching onto that values. Maybe you are full-time at a brand and you’re still feeling disconnected from how you can implement that in communication.

There’s the specific words they choose for value points, but then there’s the language that backs it up. And I think the language that backs it up is just as important to help inform you as a creator what to put out and how to communicate to your brand connectors and all of that as well.

Kerri: Absolutely. I love how you touched on, even thinking about who you’re gonna partner with as either a client or if you’re going into an organization, maybe you’re interviewing for a job and just asking deeper questions about those values. I think it illuminates a lot really quickly. And you can find a lot of information about both A, the organization and b, the people within the organization by just asking some curious questions around values. great door opener in that too. 

Yeah. I think with Flourish, we list our values on our website and that’s something that’s definitely a shared part of our language. And for the folks that I have the privilege of working with, I know it’s something that gets mentioned very often is, they appreciated me sharing about my values. It’s not, it’s pretty brief, but it kind of gives you a sense, it’s almost like part of the personality of, of the brand in what also expect. And that’s why I think having both a value word but also a value. We value this, so we X, Y, Z is so helpful cuz what it does, it helps set expectations

And it also helps build trust and like those are all things we could use more of in our life is like maybe clearer expectations and greater trust in our relationships. And that’s something that I’m always striving to be better at is clarifying expectations, both for myself and for others. Definitely a journey and nurturing trust. Like I wanna be able to nurture trust. And if that’s, just knowing that like putting that language out there helps build a bridge is really meaningful for me because it means, I’m, like you were saying, I’m attracting the people who are also gravitate to those values. 

So for example, like one of our, one of our values is equity and we partner with equity-minded collaborators and that’s just an upfront kind of clear communication kind of expectation. I think you don’t believe in equity, you’re probably not gonna partner with us cuz it’s just, it’s it’s there and so it just, it’s where we invest our time and energy and so that’s gonna attract the other people as well. And that’s just a small example. 

If you’re a nonprofit, maybe collaboration is one of your values. That’s a very common value. Also, I’m not here to say, I think some people feel like they have to be super unique and whatever their value or approach is, and it’s like all of the values are fantastic. And you can have a similar approach to someone else that’s totally good. And you can have your own story along with that value.

So, and with this idea of collaboration in the nonprofit space, that could look like, historically, nonprofits have been kind of pitted against each other, you know, competing for resources, for funding. So that really contributes to the scarcity mindset.

So you can see how we value collaboration, can help engage your nonprofit in a collaborative model. Maybe you start having collaboration with other partners in the community. You start partnering and collaborating at all levels inside the organization. You start thinking about who you wanna invite to the table on your board, cuz you’re looking for people who are connectors and collaborators. And then you weave that into the process for people you hire and bring on board. 

You want people within the organization who don’t have that scarcity and competitive mindset and really are operating out of that abundance mindset. And then programs and services and on and on it goes. So you can just see all of the ways that you, you can reflect on a value and how it can inform and help drive your mission integrated throughout your organization.

We’d love to hear from you if you have reflected on your values with your team. If you’re thinking through your values right now, what sort of questions you’re thinking through in your organization, or how your values have shaped some of your programs and services that you’ve done right now. Reach out to us on Instagram or leave us a message. It’s in the show bio for our podcast. We would love to be able to hear from you on those things because we know that there’s a lot of work being done around values and living them out in, in every space, in all organizations.


Esther: All right. Let’s move on to our bookmarks. Kerri, what is something that we should check out this week?

Kerri: I wanted to highlight another, continuing on the Women’s History month, I wanted to highlight the RBG documentary. It’s on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It has been out for a while, but it’s just a fantastic documentary. She’s such an inspiring woman. Just hearing more about her story and there’s also just some amazing interviews with her and footage of her life when she was still alive. 

It’s heartwarming and it tells her story, dives into just everything that she really faced in her life. I think it’s easy when someone is as well known as her to just kind of be like, oh, she was just this, you know, one of the first female justices on the Supreme Court.

But just hearing, hearing everything about. What’s Really, really, interesting and being able to hear her story from her too is really cool. So yeah, it’s just a great documentary if you’re into documentaries. It’s a really good one. yeah. 

How about you, Esther? What is something that you would encourage us to read or watch, or listen to?

Esther: I love that I have picked something kind of similar. So also in the realm of Women’s History Month, I wanted to point everyone to watching Hidden Figures. If you haven’t yet. It’s streaming on Disney Plus. I’m sure there’s other ways to watch it as well. 

But this is. Beautiful true story of three African American women who all began their journey working at NASA, as part of the West Computers segregated group, hired to more so process data during space race era. And they ended up playing a pivotal role in astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit. 

But this is just a beautifully created story on how they dealt with racial and gender discrimination at work. It’s directed by Theodore Melfi I’m sure you’ve seen some trailers, but It’s leading women are Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, who I love anything she puts out. And Janelle Monet. 

But yeah, just love seeing these stories emerging. I’ve talked about the podcast Uncivil before, but how, like there’s so many stories that are untold and not mainstream, that need to be told, and this is just one of them. And very inspiring and highly, highly recommend watching Hidden Figures.

Kerri: Love it. I need to rewatch that one. It’s been a while. So good. 


Kerri: Thanks for joining us today. Be sure to check out flourish creative.co/podcast to check out our show notes.

Esther: We’d love to hear from you. you can send us a note to hello flourish creative.co or tag us on Instagram or at Flourish Creative Co. A reminder, we wanna hear more about your values. So please, please, please reach out. And finally, feel free to leave a review wherever you’re listening. This helps new friends discover our podcast community.

Kerri: Until next time, live well and flourish.



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