Last week we shared to the surprising learnings about values from the Raise the Bar session with the CEO’s and Senior Leaders of Leadership: Chicago. This week’s tip is about the development and implementation of values.
Values are highly beneficial for an organization. It is values that can separate you from the competition and connect with customers. Employees use values a basis for brining competence to what they do and how they do it.
When developing and implementing values here are the secret steps to shaping values and bringing them to life within an organization:
- Pick the right words – the right words are within what matters most to the organization. Find out what matters most by asking:
- How will we work together?
- How will we serve customers?
- How will we make decisions?
- How we treat each other?
- Define the words – give real meaning to each of your value terms by defining them explicitly with a supporting behavior statement that tells everyone what living out the values can look like.
- Animate with story – bring values to life by identifying and telling the story of a real person, inside the company, exemplifying the values in real situations.
- Bring to the front line – make your values stick by having each employee make a pledge to do one action that supports the values on an ongoing basis. Here is one way that an organization achieved all 300 employees making that pledge:
- The CEO shared a story about why the values matter personally.
- The executive team was prepared to present in teams, on one of values per team, to define the value and to give a story about somebody in the room living that value concretely.
- The room was broken into work teams of 6 – 8 people. Each team was challenged to come up with a minimum of 10 values illustrating stories of real people from inside the company, with real names, that were taking actions that exemplified a value. No negative stories allowed.
- Each team presented the stories and the stories were captured for sharing later.
- Then each individual person wrote their pledge and shared it with the rest of the room.
Take advantage of the numerous benefits of values that are rich, alive and specific. Identify what is important to the organization, name the right words, define the behaviors and then take them to front line of the organization in a rich, alive and specific way.