By definition, every organization is “values driven.” The only question is, what values are in the driver’s seat?
Gary Hamel, What Matters Now
Gary Hamel, in his newest book What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation (the subtitle wears me out, thinking about all that I need to work on) calls the leaders of organizations to pay close attention to five areas. (Five may almost be too many, but that is another discussion). His five:
values; innovation; adaptability; passion; and ideology.
They are all important, but, as Hamel says…
…some things matter more than others.
And he implies that the greatest of these five is values. It all starts with the values of an organization. In the values, we see just what organizations think of its customers, and its employees. And when those values are off, everything is off. (Think the recent “I Quit” letter by Greg Smith, when he told the world why he was leaving Goldman Sachs).
If you are a leader of an organization, what are the values that underlie your every decision? Because, you do have values that do underlie your every decision.
If they are not the right values – the valuable values – it’s time for some major change.
And if you work for an organization with the wrong values driving the organization, it’s either time to have some rather crucial conversations – or, time to look for a new organization to work with and for.
Get the values wrong, and everything will go wrong. Get the values right, and you have a fighting chance to make everything go right.