How to Surface and Align Team Values

Surface and Align Team Values

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

To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose

“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

Without Clear Values, You Are Probably Losing Business

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

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Identifying Team Values

What Happened:

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.

The Pitfall:

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

The Key to Visions That Work

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What makes a vision work? Why do some visions galvanize people toward great achievement while others cause your eyes to glaze over?

What all great visions have in common is they provide an answer to these three questions:

1) Destination: Where are we going?

2) Purpose: Why do we exist? What greater good do we serve?

3) Values: What principles guide our decisions and actions on our journey?

When a vision address all three of these questions, a tremendous amount of energy is unleashed. There is a higher level of commitment because employees are able to see the relationship between the direction of their company and what they personally believe in and care deeply . . . → Read More: The Key to Visions That Work

Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

What do Zappos, Ben and Jerry’s, and Southwest Airlines have in common? They are all financially successful, values-driven companies.

A lot of companies claim to be values-driven. They publish their values and use them in marketing messages. However, this does not necessarily mean their values guide decision-making and behaviors company-wide on a day-by-day basis.

To know for sure, you can investigate whether leadership practices and company policies are aligned with their published vision and values. But there’s a simpler and quicker way to tell: pay attention to your own experience as a customer.

Here are five quick ways you can tell if an organization is really values-driven.

1. Employees remember what the company’s values are.

Ask three employees what the values of the company are.

. . . → Read More: Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

5 Tips to Ensure Your Values Unify Your Team, Not Divide It

It was quite a blow-up. Laura and Will each accused the other of violating one of the team’s core values – integrity. They each felt they had honored the value and the other person had disregarded it. People sure get mad when they feel someone has trampled on their values!

Will had promised the client he would send the proposal by the end of the day. It was 4:45 pm and he was waiting for Laura to finish the final edits on the graphics. Laura was conscientiously checking every detail for accuracy making sure that each segment of the pie chart was the exact same size.

At 4:55 pm, Will walked over to Laura’s desk and asked her when she’d be ready. She said she . . . → Read More: 5 Tips to Ensure Your Values Unify Your Team, Not Divide It

Time for Spring Cleaning: Clean Up Your Values

It’s springtime in New England. The trees are beginning to bud and soon it will be time for my teenage son to start mowing the lawn again.

I need to find a new tree service company. I fired my old one last summer.

My son mows our lawn every week. The tree service company comes only a few times to spray the trees. Last summer they unexpectedly showed up one day while my son was mowing.

Returning from work I noticed them as I drove up my driveway. The sprayer was aimed at the dogwood tree, but the wind carried the spray directly toward my son who was working his way across the other side of the lawn.

I jumped out of my car . . . → Read More: Time for Spring Cleaning: Clean Up Your Values