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Values set your culture and your culture becomes your identity. Your identity becomes your growth driver. Hundreds of organizations and companies go into the value route unaware of the broader implications to their business strategies and overall operational effectiveness.
There are 3 important elements to put into place when you're contemplating on going the values route to bring about positive changes in your organization.
1. Values makes the organization and the organization makes it explicit
If you want to be taken seriously, take values seriously. Don't follow the bandwagon. Set values resonate at all levels, and your committed to in the long haul. Periodically reflect, build on, and keep these alive at every fork in your organizational journey.
2. Live it and breath it
It's not alright to set it and forget it. Not with values. When invoked and lived powerfully, these values become filters for all kinds of things that do not sit well with your organization. For example, a company that prides itself with hiring people with disabilities, will pursue business strategies that bring about inclusion, empowerment, and engagement as core operational values, not just making profits.
3. When in conflict, check your values
When internal conflict happens, check your values. Set metric for accountability on how leaders and all stakeholders should behave according to these values. Account for discrepancies between actions and rhetoric. Guard against misleading and unfounded interpretations that can develop over time.
4. You will lose some people and opportunities
When values are taken seriously, you cannot have the whole world. You will never compromise with your values for the sake of short-term gain or agenda because it's the flavor-of-the-month. When the Black Lives Matter becomes trendy, most organizations publish their statement of support and with changes that they promise to uphold regardless whether these have enduring implications they can adequately sustain for the long haul. Looking back, mere palliative measures simply fade away from relevance when weighed against bigger priorities.
5. Own it and take the responsibilities
The beauty and benefits of organizational values come with costs and responsibilities. Setting new norms as a founder or Board or new Executive Director can be daunting but the rewards outweigh the initial difficulties. I know of an organization who had been discussing their values for a long time in a causal manner until recently when the discussions have surfaced more complex dimensions not previously brought up. This is a sign that readiness is higher and that another next step must be taken to move this forward. Get the temperature right and it will not feel neither stalling nor rushing to get this done.
Suppose you have all these things, now what? Enjoy these values and make them relevant everyday.
If you're interested to deep dive into your strategy, change, and engagement issues, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't wait for the perfect time, situation, or budget.Read More