What are Guiding Principles? They are any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, no matter the goals, strategies, type of work or the top management. It’s a group of phrases or words that allows the organization to easily determinate if any action, strategy, new business, investment, etc. is suitable under its own precepts and beliefs.

BestNC State University IT Guiding Principles



If your organization needs to operate at a very high performance level, developing Guiding Principles is one of the most important pieces of work that can be executed by the IT leaders. Guiding Principles need to be defined to drive decision-making, and in consequence these principles shape the organization's culture which drives business an higher levels of performance. Some organizations are notably better than others. It is because of their culture not their technology. What creates a culture? The way people behave! 

Organizations with guiding principles have gained the following benefits:

  • Aligns actions and behavior with overall purpose and values
  • Absenteeism is reduced significantly
  • Culture is healthy, productive, and open to change
  • Key stakeholders are connected to the organization's culture
  • Preserve's the vitality of the organization which keeps the organization in touch with the current environment

BestThe Importance of Setting Guiding Principles at the Beginning of an ERP Implementation


Initiating a process to obtain the Guiding Principles of your IT Department will not only bring cohesion but will also significantly increase the level of customer service to the end users. Here is an example of the Guiding Principles of Toyota.


Toyota prefers a phrase stylus to explain the pillars of their behavior as business.  These principles have the characteristic of endurance because they were created in 1992 and revised in 1997. They relatively remain still the same and stand the test of time. One must not get confused with Vision and Mission or Strategies although they are related to values as company.

The idea is that each member of the IT Department should define in their own words, no less than 5 and no more than 8 guiding principles and send them to the initiative's leader.

One can use the examples provided below but should try not to copy them exactly because the idea to represent the organization not merely to copy another organization.

These guiding principles have to be characteristics already present, not characteristics an organization wishes to have. Once discussed and understood they should be finalized and shared with the internal company. After which, the final step would be to publish the guiding principles to the organization's website. The Guiding Principles should be shared with our collaborators in order to create a culture based on them. 

BestHow to Write Effective Guiding Principles


Here are some examples of words or phrases normally used as guiding principles.

Guiding Principles
Exhibit Passion
Do the Right Thing
Operate with the Highest of Ethics
Honor your Promises
Act with Transparency
Be a Problem Solver
Go Above and Beyond
Honor Everyone's time
Be Respectful
Be Humble
Be Result oriented
Have Courage
Be Graceful
Communicate with Care
Treat others the way you would want to be treated
Encourage Healthy Debate
Be Forward looking
Invite Creativity
Work as Team
Have a Positive Attitude
Learn from your Experiences
Client Focus
Be Self motivated
Exceed customer expectations
Pursue excellence
Share knowledge
Listen and communicate

Other Info About Guiding Principles

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