Why are so few companies values-driven? Even when they start down that path, why do they wind up dead-ended?
A 2012 study shows “employees want their organizations to display honesty and integrity in business activities,” and “when leaders behave consistently with the core values, they earn employees’ trust and confidence.”
More so, it makes good business sense – research shows high-trust companies significantly outperform those that aren’t in the marketplace.
So why do so many companies fail in their effort? Here’s a true story and the 5 common errors they made that will derail any effort, including yours.
A True and Typical Story
This is a true story, but the name has been withheld to protect… well, frankly, me. It is an organization I am . . . → Read More: Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter
When you agree on your team values, you increase trust and create a language for more effectively working together.
Values are deeply held beliefs about what is right and good and evoke standards that you care deeply about. They drive your behaviors and decisions.
Most often your values influence your behavior unconsciously. High performance teams are clear about their values and consciously make decisions based on them.
If your organization has published values, it is still helpful to identify the values that are specific to the needs and purpose of your team. It’s okay if they are not the same, as long as they are aligned and don’t conflict.
If your organization has not articulated values, it is even more important to identify your . . . → Read More: How to Identify Team Values that Unify and Guide Your Team
These questions and guidelines will help you surface the right values for your team. Team values don’t need to be exactly the same as your company values, as long as they are aligned and don’t conflict.
What values are needed to fulfill your team’s purpose?
Values drive purpose. First identify your team’s purpose. Ask, why does your team exist? What is the real service you provide to the company? What business are you really in?
Once you are clear about your team’s purpose, then identify the values needed to fulfill its purpose. Purpose answers why. Values answer how. They provide guidelines for decisions and daily behavior that will help fulfill your purpose.
Your values depend on how you see the purpose of your team. . . . → Read More: How to Surface and Align Team Values
“Vision is a clearly articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” In short, vision is a combination of three basic elements: 1) a significant purpose, reason for existence, 2) a clear picture of the future, and 3) the underlying core values.
In my last two posts, I discussed the elements of purpose and picture of the future. This post focuses on the third element – values.
Our values are our deeply held beliefs about what is right and good, evoking standards that we care deeply about. They drive our behaviors and decisions, trigger our emotions, and can fuel a passion that drives commitment, even in the face of obstacles and change.
An engaging vision, one . . . → Read More: To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose
To live intentionally, you must surface your values – not the ones you think you should have, but the ones you really do have.
Our values are our deeply held beliefs about what is right and good.
Values drive our behaviors, whether we are conscious of them or not.
Many people adopt the values articulated by their parents, organizations or institutions. But when they are not also conscious of their own personal values and the connection between their values and what they espouse, they are often only superficially committed to them. The values support a self-image of who they want to be, not necessarily who they are, and don’t hold up during times of stress. This is one of the reasons we . . . → Read More: Are You Consciously (or Unconsciously) Values-Driven?
Can everyone in your organization explain each of the values and how they personally act on them? They can at companies like Disney, Starbucks, Southwest, McDonalds and Google – all listed in the top 15 of the 2012 most admired companies. . . . → Read More: Without Clear Values, You Are Probably Losing Business
Someone on the leadership team suggested it would be a good idea to identify our values. The regular agenda for the leadership team meetings was already jam-packed, and no one had time for an extra meeting to do this work, so the task was assigned to a few volunteers to bring back to the team.
Seeing values as separate from the real work. The leaders delegated and disengaged. By taking the time as a team to discuss what values they believed were critical to their future, they would have discovered how these values drive the very behaviors they need to accomplish the work. The sub-group members understood it was not a good . . . → Read More: 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Identifying Team Values
In Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, we provide this definition of vision:
“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.” – Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner
A much earlier definition I wrote is quoted by Zig Ziglar in Over the Top:
“A vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” – Jesse Stoner-Zemel
Both definitions are accurate, but to more fully explain the characteristics of an effective vision – a vision that drives commitment and direction – I use the acronym DRIVING. It helps avoid ending up with something that is so vague or lofty, it has no meaning. . . . → Read More: Characteristics of an Effective Vision: Create a DRIVING Vision
The events before, during and after the January 13 tragedy aboard the Costa Concordia point to a true failure of leadership at every level, from the captain who ran the luxury liner aground during a drive by “salute” off the island of Isola del Giglio to the chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi who denies any responsibility. Two days ago Foschi told a newspaper they were unaware of this practice.
Why didn’t they know?
What was operating in the culture of the company that would give rise to these dangerous practices and where senior leaders were disconnected? Curious what company values were driving these behaviors, I searched the Costa Cruises website.
The week of the accident, these values were listed on their website:
Passion for our . . . → Read More: Lessons from the Costa Concordia: A Case For Company Values