All posts by Matt Tenney

How to Ensure That Values Are Actually Lived in Your Organization

Matt TenneyMatt Tenney is the author of Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Board Room (Wiley 2014). He is also an international keynote speaker, a trainer, and a consultant with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies. 

Most leaders today understand the importance of having clearly articulated values that guide the decisions and behaviors of team members.

But it seems that many organizations treat “core values” as just another couple of buzz words.

Leaders get excited about creating core values that they hope will inspire both team members and customers. The values are printed on a document that hangs prominently in the CEO’s office, or might even be displayed on the company website.

Unfortunately, many organizations never move beyond this point. As a result, it’s difficult to find team members, or even leaders, who consistently live the core values or use them to guide decisions.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with S. Chris Edmonds, author of the great new book entitled The Culture Engine.

Chris shared several powerful tools for creating a workplace culture where values are inspiring, and result in a culture that people enjoy being a part of and produces great business outcomes because the values are actually lived on a consistent basis.

The Organizational Constitution

The central component of Chris’ work is what he calls an organizational constitution. This document defines the culture at an organization.

The first key element of the organizational constitution is a clearly defined purpose that goes beyond producing a product or making money. Although it may take some time to uncover a deeper purpose that is inspiring for everyone on the team, it is well worth the effort. An inspiring purpose can significantly improve engagement levels of team members.

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