What are the most important values for a high performing organisation? It’s a question we get asked a lot.
Since 1999, we’ve been working with leading organisations across a wide variety of sectors and have come across many variations on the same themes. You only have to check out a few “About Us” statements on websites to see that you could transpose the same set of values across most organisations. So, are there really only a few values that matter?
Anecdotally, when we interview leaders about what’s working and what’s not within their organisation the values they most often want to see reflected are teamwork - especially as it relates to internal customer service, accountability – everyone taking responsibility for their own piece of the puzzle and being accountable for what they deliver and proactivity – taking the initiative to solve problems and improve the way they do things.
In his new book The 3 Power Values: How Commitment, Integrity, and Transparency Clear the Roadblocks to Performance, David Gebler says that to create a fully aligned high performance culture, leaders need only focus on nurturing three ‘catalyst’ values: commitment, integrity and transparency. He dubs them power values because together they can influence particularly productive behaviours that will have a positive influence on an organisation’s culture.
Changing a culture is hard work and when it comes to embedding desired organisational values and their associated behaviours I’m all for a “less is more” approach. Gebler’s work aligns with our own experience and this excerpt from The 3 Power Values is an interesting introduction to how culture drives performance.
You might also find it useful to review the global research into the top desired organisational values highlighted in my recent blog.
Please contact us if you’d like to conduct your own culture survey to better understand the values underlying your culture and start the discussion on how to take culture out of the "soft" realm and into measurable actions that improve organisational performance.
Posted: Friday 8 June 2012