Posts Tagged ‘behaviours’

What value are values?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

I was working with a long standing client today and we had to make some decisions that were both commercially and morally challenging.  They had to decide where they were going to draw up the boundaries on what behaviours they accepted from their staff.  There were two or three related issues that were very definitely ‘grey’ areas.  Where did one draw the line?  How much weight did one give expediency, commercial profit, reputation???

I said to them “Before we begin, lets revisit the company values we drew up a few years ago and check that you still feel they are right for your business, because if they aren’t we should change them, and if they are, we should apply them to this situation.”  I was told that they not only still thought they were right but they regularly tested their actions against them.  It was so refreshing to hear of a company that actively tried to live its values.  I can’t say that I come across it very often.

We then used these values to help us make some tough decisions, but it was a much quicker and easier conversation than it might have been.  It was a great example of their value if correctly applied.

There was a tension been two of the values of Commercial & Professional behaviour but that is fine.  Their job was to decide how to balance these in the best possible way, but our decision today has helped give life to the third value of Transparency and makes it much easier for the staff to know what is okay and what isn’t.

Do make explicit use of use of values in your business and if so, how have they helped you?

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”   John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“A new way of thinking has become the necessary condition for responsible living and acting. If we maintain obsolete values and beliefs, a fragmented consciousness and self-centred spirit, we will continue to hold onto outdated goals and behaviours.”    Dalai Lama

The Games People Play

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I don’t know if you remember the Joe South song, “The Games People Play”; it was always one I rather liked.  It starts off

“Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean”

At this time of year, when we are surrounded by our families and loved ones, we have a wonderful opportunity to see the games we all play.  Amidst all the mince pies and port we usually see some of those we love dropping into those familiar patterns of speech and behaviour which trip us all up.

I’m not assuming any position of superiority here.  I know that if others’ foibles are on view, so must mine be.  Perhaps New Years Eve isn’t a bad time to pause, ponder and reflect what these might be and whether we want to take them into 2009…

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2009