Are values important for you? I mean are they really Important to you? So important that no matter what you won’t go against them? Think carefully before answering that one.
What actually constitutes a value? What is the difference between a value and a preference? Are they a desired way of being? Or an absolute way of being no matter what? Can they be both?
I’m fascinated by values and the way people use them. A dictionary definition of values is “the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group”.
This definition intrigues me as it mentions the words “morals, principles and beliefs”. These are judgements which means that two people or organisations could have a value of “integrity” for example but then have different definitions of what “integrity” actually is.
There are lots of values people and organisations say they have which I believe for most people are just preferred ways of being rather than values. Honesty is one a common one that people have but often it’s a just a preferred way of living. Its one that will change if they are caught in a tricky situation. Sometimes people and organisations tell “a little lie” as they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or get caught by a client for something we haven’t delivered on. To have honesty as a core value you tell the truth no matter what and how many of us are prepared to do that every time?
When working with clients discussing the values the want to embed in their business is one of my favourite sessions. I’m a fan of the work done by Patrick Lencioni on workplace and team values.
Lencioni talks about four types of values:
Core Values: These are the fundamental beliefs that you’ve held for as long as you can remember and are your compass for living and for decision making
Permission-To-Play Values: These are the minimum standards of behaviour you would expect from your team and from suppliers and the minimum your clients can expect from you. Here is a link to great clip of Lencioni talking about what a core value actually is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNRn6FimzoU
Accidental Values: These grow slowly within an organisation and can commonly come from particular departments or teams that spend a lot of time working closely on tasks within the business. A group way of behaving can emerge that just feels right. This happens without any real thought or decision to work in that style.
Aspirational Values: These are the things you’d like to be doing or ways you’d like to operate in the future, but you aren’t quite there yet.
My favourite topic of the four are the permission to play values. I love the way Lencioni calls out permission to play values as the base level any organisation should have. Should we have to tell people we have integrity, or we are customer focused? Isn’t that the minimum we should be anyway?
Here are some questions for you to ponder around your business and its values.
· What values does your organisation live by?
· When was the last time you and your leadership team did any work on your values and how to implement them into your day-to-day business operations?
· Do you recruit based on values as well as capabilities so your recruiting great people who will fit well into your business?
· If you were asked to list your companies three core values what they absolutely core or just permission to play values such as integrity, customer focused etc?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your company’s values and to hear what your top three values are?
What do you think about the ‘permission to play’ values?
Do you think they should be included as values in any organisation?
#values #asentivcatalyst #business #culture
Till next time and to your continued success.