How to Ensure That Values Are Actually Lived in Your Organization

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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.

Limiting Core Values to the True “Core”

 Another key element of the organizational constitution is the list of the most important values in the organization. This should not be a list of 15 or 20 values. It should truly be the absolute most important values that are non-negotiable. Chris recommends no more than five.

By really getting clear on the absolute most important values and limiting them in number, it’s much easier for people to remember them and apply them.

For organizations that have already been in existence for a while, Chris suggests that you make an effort to include team members in the process of defining the core values, leaning heavily on your top performers. Thus, there will be more buy-in from team members.

To read the entire article from Huffington Post  please go to: http://huff.to/1yxvT6O

The Author:

Matt 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. He works with companies, associations, universities, and non-profits to develop highly effective leaders who achieve lasting success by focusing on serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. Matt envisions a world where the vast majority of people realize that effectively serving others is the key to true greatness. When he’s not traveling for speaking engagements, he can often be found in Nashville. You can connect with Matt and learn more about his book at www.MattTenney.com.

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