Values That Forge A Bond
Are values recognisable? Fortunately, yes.
One helpful resource for making values visible is Ed Schein’s book “The Corporate Culture Survival Guide”. Using it as a starting point, here are a few simple ways you can unearth an organisation’s or a team’s (or your own) values.
The first is to analyse common sayings and phrases within the organisation. One example is when new ideas are greeted with, “We’ve never done it that way!”. To me that shrieks conservatism and caution. Notice what phrases are used often in meetings and conversations. Then think about what value they transport. Pretty soon you have a basic list of the organisation’s lived values.
Another help to identifying values is to think about favourite policies and procedures. Do they point towards quality, safety, consistency or independence?
A third approach is to consider a list of values I’ve put together, using Johann Tikart’s list in his book “führung beginnt beim ich” as a starting point. These values help your team to forge strong bonds. See which ones resonate with you or how you experience your organisation:
Whichever route you take to identify your values, you want a set that supports you reaching your vision and helps the team to work together better. Experience shows that roughly five is a good number. This gives enough richness to guide work and decision-making, and not too many so that progress is paralysed through values’ conflicts.
What values guide you and your team towards your goals?