You probably have your written corporate values posted on your website, your Intranet, and somewhere on the walls of your workplace.
But what about your operational values: that is, how people truly operate within your organization?
Do your two sets of values align?
To figure it out, here is a fun and compelling way that you, a business leader, can determine whether your stated values are also your operational values—in other words, whether your organization truly reflects those words on the wall.
So why is this important?
Before you start thinking this is a make-work project with little value (pardon the pun), consider my own personal experience a couple decades ago.
Long before co-founding Juice, I was part of a team of four for my employer, working for sales. It was a fledgling company and we needed sales—my eye was always on that ball.
One day a particular project had to be carried out, everyone was scrambling, and most of my colleagues were dropping their regular duties to help out. As for me, I stuck to my guns: sales were important, and so I continued to focus on sales that day.
The next day, my leader met with me, wanting to know why I didn’t step in to help when help was so desperately needed. I said that I was helping: by focusing on sales. His words? “You’re absolutely right. Sales do matter, and you should be committed to that. But one of the values of our organization is Team First. If something like this happens again, I need you to put the team first ahead of your own agenda.”
I never forgot that lesson.
The beauty and value of this exercise will help you remove any “noise in the system” and help align your behaviours with your operational values, not to mention improve communication and productivity. You will create a more congruent workplace culture that everyone can refer to and agree on. Trust me: people notice the difference!
Looking for more leadership tips and insights? Check out some of Alex Somos’ other articles!
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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