The importance of values alignment was discussed at last year’s Australian Human Resource Institute Forum in a case study by SBS (Australia’s National Multicultural Television Broadcaster). SBS was undergoing significant structural change. But the CEO realised that this also required significant cultural change. And they found that the latter was not possible without a transition at the top. Out of 12 leaders 9 were replaced because they no longer had values alignment with the new organisation SBS needed to become.
Values should be one of four core components of a business strategy; the others are Vision, Mission and Goals. The Values are how the organisation is going to do the work or activities to achieve the strategy. Peter Drucker said that Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast. Without alignment of the two, strategy is impossible to achieve. Misalignment occurs in many ways:
- Lack of understanding by leaders how they influence their own business foundations as culture is usually driven by the values and beliefs of leaders and managers;
- A leadership change e.g. through succession planning or through appointment;
- General recruitment processes;
- Lack of Culture Planning in addition to Strategic Planning;
- Lack of understanding how culture and brand are the two sides of the same coin.
How to create values in the organisation:
- As a leader understand that everyone has values.
- Each person should know their values and how they influence actions at work – The Personal Values Assessment and the Exercises within the Report that is sent to you help with this.
- Identify how your behaviours support or inhibit the Values of the Organisation (if you have organisational values).
- If none exist, measure the culture and values in the organisation using Cultural Transformation Tools or other survey method that supports selecting organisational values.
- If the meaning of organisational values is unclear, undertake staff consultation to identify or create their meaning.
- Discuss the wanted behaviours for each of the organisational values. Ensure that these wanted behaviours align with the Strategy. If behavioural change is required initiate a change program to make it clear.
- Develop the recruitment process to ensure culture fit including job roles definition, advertisement, selection and appointment process, induction and performance management processes. Employees have good culture fit if they have more than three values matching organisational values.
- Ensure your employees and marketing messages support brand intention. Survey your customers and suppliers to see if they have the intended brand perception.
A word of caution when using recruitment or marketing agencies: You MUST ensure they adhere to your culture fit requirements in their message.
Some other blogs:
Values Help Fix Toxic Cultures
Individualism creates a Crisis
Individualism for the Common Good