Value-centered culture

For Bruno Silva, core values are everything, and
he’s created a culture at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse
where his 65 employees are
encouraged to live the values
he has established.

“Everyone sharing the values, it’s powerful,” he says.
“You not only make everybody
a family, it’s almost like they
feel protected, and they can
relate to co-workers because
they’re all thinking the same.”

Silva’s focus on values has
helped Chima reach 2007 revenue of $9 million at its Fort
Lauderdale location; it also has
locations in four other cities.

Smart Business spoke with
Silva about how to create a
culture focused on values.

Q. What are the keys to developing a successful culture?

Detect the core purpose and
values, which are a set of enduring principles that we believe
and live throughout the years.
And then actually live them.

As we live them, people start
to understand what are the
behaviors accepted and try to
live them, as well. Some will live
them and grow with the company; others don’t fit and will leave.

Little by little, these values,
it’s addictive; they incorporate
in all the minds and hearts,
and everybody will see them
even if they’re not written.

Listen to your heart because
a culture is something that you
live and believe, and for each
company, it will vary.

Q. How do you develop core values?

You need to include key
employees and managers
because it’s something that
you create together, and
they’re going to be supporting
the culture.

Gather all your management,
and there’s a series of questions and exercises that you
go through to identify the values. The company already has
them; it’s a matter of getting
your team together to create
that. Set up a day and come up
with the values.

It’s important that everybody’s involved because
they’re going to be the ones
enforcing it, living those
values.

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