Values – A daily discussion or a vague concept?

We were asked to run a workshop for a nuclear power company as part of their VP development programme. The programme was running in a hotel and due to start at 8:00am. I was told my session would commence at around 8:30 after the safety briefing.

So at 8:00am our host put up a slide that summarised the company’s values and commitment to safety. There followed a discussion about the safety issues in the hotel as well as a discussion on the commitment to safety at work.

Of course I am delighted that a company working in the nuclear power industry takes it’s commitment to safety so seriously but I did have some reflections around how seriously other companies take their commitment to values.

In sharp contrast we were working with a European consultancy firm. The participants on the programme could barely recall the espoused values. It was pretty clear they made little difference to the everyday lives of employees.

It reminds us that if something is important, we make this clear to everyone and we discuss it often.  Perhaps holding a discussion on values every day would feel like overkill for many organisations but maybe it is time for you to add them to the agenda for the weekly update meetings.

Perhaps these questions will help:

  • What are our core values?
  • What have we done since we last met to promote/develop our commitment to these?
  • What thoughts do we have for strengthening our commitment to them?

The experience also reminds us of the important role senior leaders play in bringing values to life. To what extent do they use common supportive language? Do they find stories and examples to show how they are having an impact on the organisation? Do they take the initiative to put them on the agenda?

A test for you as you are reading this. Can you recall the company values? When was the last time you had a meaningful discussion about them?

 A great read..

A really interesting book is ‘The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company’ by John Rossman. It is full of rich thinking and many challenging ideas. It also demonstrates how to bring leadership principles to life and is full of practical suggestions on areas such as accountability, building trust, team work, innovation and results orientation. I would go so far as to say it is already my favourite book of the year.

ILM Level 7 In Coaching & Mentoring

We are pleased to announce that we will be running three more coaching & mentoring programmes. The dates and locations are:

Winchester    Autumn 2017

Module 1 –       25th, 26th and 27th September 2017
Module 2 –       5th and 6th December 2017
Module 3 –       6th and 7th March 2018

Music in the office

A couple of great albums to recommend. The new Ryan Adams album is of course constantly in the background. ’The Prisoner’ contains some great tunes.

Something a bit more left field is a compilation called ‘The Day of The Dead’. Over five hours of songs by the Grateful Dead re-recorded by many great artists. Well worth a download from the iTunes store