Most organizations have completed the exercise of identifying their corporate values (or leader competencies, etc.). The reason, of course, is that when those specified values are present in daily interactions, the company is more likely to succeed.
Yet, did you hear the guy a few cubes over mutter “whatever” when the values were posted on the wall?
The “elephant,” the unspoken reality, is harsh for some teams: Employee engagement is tenuous at best if an employee feels the primary purpose of their work is to “maximize shareholder wealth.” Or, if the corporate values are simply perceived as a mechanism to help my boss make their bonus, what’s the point in living those values?
A friend, Joe, is leading a movement in his organization. He understands the cause-and-effect relationship between the priority of delivering improved profits to stakeholders and the organization’s values.
Rather than telling the masses “here’s how you need to function,” Joe is transferring ownership to those he’s responsible for by A) tapping into individual motivations (What’s the benefit to you when you live and lead from our corporate values?), and B) Equipping his team with the how. (How do we apply the tools we have to bring our values to life more frequently?)
Using the corporate values means we’ll delight the customer, and that’s good work. Owning our values means we’ll each benefit as a person. This changes how work gets done and drives greater profits.
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