Quick… what are your organization’s 4-6 Core Values?
If you were able to respond decisively without having to frown or pause, you’re probably working for an organization that is living and breathing its values. Good for them and good for you. Count your blessings and think twice before leaving – – this type of organization is hard to find.
I am currently leading a process of helping an organization undergoing major changes lay the foundation for is Core Ideology. Together with the leader of this organization, we are mapping ways to make the newly defined values come alive in each and every conversation that employees and managers have, in every action taken with consumers, in every exchange with other stakeholders.
And this is quite a tall order.
In fact, lately I have taken to asking participants in various organizations where I have been facilitating training sessions (all in leadership positions) what their organization’s values are. Most often, they don’t really know! Or they begin debating amongst themselves what those values are.
Well, if you can’t recite the Core Values with your eyes closed, how are you going to make them come alive in the various discourses and behavioural exchanges that comprise daily life at work?
Furthermore, even if you do know the Values, what do those values actually mean in the context of your specific culture? How does `respect’ actually look? How does `Excellence’ manifest in your particular environment? How would `Accountability’ show up on a video camera that would follow people around?
I am a confirmed believer that organizations that know their values and where everyone, from the night shift guard to the CEO, lives those values on a daily basis – – these organizations do better than others when it comes to the bottom line. Not to mention employee engagement too.