Combining People’s Values Is Creating Insights

posted in: Culture, Values | 1

We’re about half-way in the journey to discover your company’s values, time to do a first exercise to pull it all together.

In the beginning of this year I shared with you my perspective on the importance of discovering your values, followed by some insight in what’s wrong with core values.

We then started off a journey. First you asked yourself the question if you are serious about running a values driven company – not to take lightly! It requires commitment to real values, in everything you do, and by all people. That’s not a ‘low-hanging-fruit’ it will take time to focus on it, it means being more patience with revenues and profits in order to lay the foundation.

After that we came to answer the question what your personal core values are. I offered two exercises you can use to learn how you can review the “highs” and “lows” of your life to discover your core values and what’s worth living and working for! The difficulty is to remain honest about what are the values you are looking at, because there are two types of core values: personal and tribal/team core values. For now your personal ones were targeted with the exercise.

Then last week I offered three ways to get people’s perspective on core (company) values. People are unique, the combination of their values inside a company, into the ways of working of a company shapes in large the culture of a company. That in turn makes each company’s culture unique. Although I recommended to involve a limited number of people (first), with a good spread over departments, the result is that you have quite a collection of values by now.

Today, I do not offer you much new, other than that it is time to pull it together. Be sure to not do this by committee – do it yourself or ask just 1 or 2 people. Keep an open mind in ‘grouping’ equal and similar values. Make sure to note a rational if you feel combining similar values make sense.

A great way to make an overview and keep clear on where you stand is to visualize what you have. Remember the Team Celebration Map from the previous post?

Time To Celebrate

Now try this:

  • Take a white board (or anything else big to write on) and make a drawing like the one above. Just replace “Time to Celebrate” with “What we Value”.
  • In the middle of the circle you can add the existing Company Values (or your own personal core values), and candidate values if a ‘large’ amount of feedback points to a specific value
  • But don’t loose anybody’s values, knowing what each person values is great insight in their motivations for practically everything they do. Thus add for each person you have feedback from their ‘remaining’ values on the drawing.

You have now created a very valuable insights visual which is a great start for communication to broader audiences.

Next week more exercises on testing the values against a broader audience!

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