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GUIDE: Why Core Values are Critical to a Company’s Success

By Ryan Binkley

Core Values

"Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." – Vince Lombardi

2021 was a pivotal year in many respects, not least for the M&A industry. Following a brief state of uncertainty in the Spring/Summer of 2020, the sector rebounded with incredible force, and led to last year being one of the most robust, active markets in memory.

Our team at Generational Group followed this positive trend, and 2021 proved to be a record-breaking year for our firm:

  • A record 172 deals closed throughout the year
  • Surpassing the milestone of $7 billion in wealth transferred to our clients since our inception
  • Numerous award wins, including M&A Advisor awards for Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year ($10MM-$25MM), Private Equity Deal of the Year ($10MM to $25MM), and Materials Deal of the Year

This means a great deal to me and our entire team. We have helped a significant number of business owners fulfill their personal and professional goals, and ensured they have a lasting financial legacy upon exiting their company.

The end-to-end support we can provide to our clients is something I never take for granted, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous expertise and dedication of our associates. Each one puts the needs and wants of our clients first, with the aim of delivering what I believe to be an unparalleled level of care and attention.

And this is underlined by our Core Values – our GUIDE…

Generational’s GUIDE

At the heart of everything we do, think or say at Generational are our five Core Values:

  • Golden Rule
  • Unity
  • Integrity
  • Diligence
  • Excellence

Our GUIDE has always ensured that we do right by our clients at every stage of their journey with us. Whether they are seeking to spur consistent growth in their business, secure their personal wealth, or exit for an optimal value, they can be assured that everything we do is motivated by these five principles.

As a mark of the importance we place on these, at the end of each year we celebrate five of our associates who we feel have championed these with distinction at our Core Value Awards. Here are our winners for 2021, and an explanation behind each of our values:

Golden Rule – Brent Standlee, Information System Technician

Respect, Love, Stewardship

Our clients trust us with their most valuable asset – their business. We never take this trust for granted, and show the same respect and responsible stewardship towards our clients as we would expect from a firm in our position.

This is our Golden Rule – to treat our clients as we would hope to be treated ourselves, demonstrating care and empathy for their situation every step of the journey.

Unity – Gina Aldaz, Director of Client Development

People, Harmony, Teamwork

Collaboration is critical for success, both within a team and between a client and their advisor. In recognition of the value, benefits and results that are achieved when we work in harmony towards a single goal, we absolutely prize unity throughout our services.

This also extends to our vast network of professional buyers – we work with them to help ensure the most suitable transactions for all parties.

Integrity – Steve Wenneborg, Senior Managing Director

Trust, Transparency, Truth

Honesty is everything for me. I don’t believe in keeping clients in the dark, especially when their business and financial future is in our hands. That is why integrity is at the heart of our approach – we are totally transparent with clients, partners and colleagues.

This is vital to establishing trust across all of our services, so our clients can rely on us to act only in their best interests.

Diligence – Tom Stephens, Senior Managing Director

Persistence, Commitment, Dedication

Our associates work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and one another. Transactions are rarely straightforward – there are so many moving parts and steps involved that it takes a steady, experienced hand to keep the wheels turning, regardless of the obstacle.

Our team understands that better than anyone, and are constantly working to ease the burden on clients, so they can focus on their wider responsibilities.

Excellence – Fred Zweifel, Sr. Managing Director Mergers & Acquisitions

Skill, Accountability, Results

Finally, at Generational we believe in consistency, quality, and in the extra effort required to make sure we are outstanding across all of our dealings, be it business or personal.

As a team we strive to be the best at everything we do, and this is illustrated by regularly being ranked by Refinitiv as the #1 firm for completed transactions valued up to $25 million (as well as towards the top in many other categories).

The need for Core Values

Now that you understand the meaning behind each of our five guiding principles, you may wonder why we place so much significance on them – even conducting our own award ceremony behind them!

Without established core values, it can be challenging to create a shared, united identity across all team members. The element that drives everyone, regardless of their background, towards the same goals.

At Generational Group our team is in excess of 250 associates, located across 16 offices throughout North America. All unique individuals with their own personal stories, journeys and ambitions. But, through our Core Values, we are united to deliver the same quality of service and meaningful bonds with our clients.

There is no break in the chain. We understand what our goals are, and how we approach them to deliver both incredible service to our clients and foster a strong company culture. That is how pivotal our Core Values are to our firm, and why I believe it’s essential to put them on a pedestal.

If you are seeking to instill the same importance to your company’s own values, I can offer some suggestions:

  1. Like we do with our own annual awards, establish events and awards that celebrate those who best embody your values. The more you reinforce that your values are to be aspired towards, and are something you are willing to reward your team through, the more actively they will be adopted across your organization.
  2. Ensure aspects of your core values are present across your internal communications. Whether it is at the bottom of company emails, posters and signage on office walls, brand guidelines, weekly meetings, etc. – if these messages are showcased across your company, the more likely it is they will be widely recognized and adopted.
  3. Brainstorm with other executives and middle management to determine what values best represent you as a company; values that will resonate with your wider employees. This will help you reach a more rounded consensus, rather than simply go by your personal instincts.
  4. Weave your core values into activities and initiatives within your day-to-day operations. For example, if one of your values is sustainability, arrange a weekly recycling drive across your business. This strengthens the validity of your messages and shows your employees (and the wider world) that your values are authentic.

Our GUIDE in 2022

I hope that this has given you a helpful insight into our five Core Values at Generational Group, and the reasoning that lies behind each one. I cannot overstate how beneficial I believe these principles to be in guiding our team’s consistent growth, and maintaining the exceptional standard of care we offer to our many clients.

The success we achieved in 2021, and the enduring strength of the M&A market, mean I am even more excited for what we can achieve in the months ahead, all underpinned with our constant Core Values.

If you would like to learn more about Generational, or to follow our journey across 2022, there are many ways you can do so:

Alternatively, if you would like to put our values and quality of service to the test, I encourage you to register your interest for a Generational Growth Strategy and Exit Planning Executive Meeting. You will gain valuable knowledge on how to maximize the value of your business, and how we work with you to achieve this aim.

Thank you for reading, and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed and prosperous 2022!