The 5 Absolutely Worst Ways to Instill Organizational Values

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Effective leaders are 24/7 Values-Driving machines.

Identifying and promoting core values is so central to the health of the organization, that leaders are constantly driving organizational values in everything they do.

And they know the stakes are so high, they strive to be as effective as possible in values-installation.

And that can begin by avoiding these 5 values-killers…

1.  By establishing policies

If you’re churning out policies to guide team behavior, you’ve basically run up the white flag on values.

If you want people to show up for meetings on time, instil the value of “honoring your teammates’ time”. Don’t just set a policy stating that you’ll dock the pay of anyone who shows up late.

2.  By under-modeling the values

By modeling the values of your organization, I’m not just talking about maintaining the bare minimum requirements.

If you want these values to permeate your team you need to noticeably exceed the expectations by a healthy margin.

Want your team to live out a “caring for one another” value? You need to set the pace by being the first to respond to challenges they face.

3.  By mentioning values just once a year

Most leaders will dutifully crank out the core values speech once a year; usually at the Annual Kick Off staff meeting or perhaps at the Christmas party.

But that talk, as well intentioned as it might be, won’t penetrate your culture.

You need to build on that stirring speech with daily values-affirmations.

4.  By only catching people doing something wrong

There’s no question that sometimes it’s necessary to point out a values-violation to a member of your team.

But you’ll get a lot more values-mileage by celebrating loudly and publically when someone on your team exemplifies a core value.

For example, the next time someone creates a brand new way to solve a problem, proclaim to everyone that the value of innovation is alive and well.

5. By delegating values to H.R.

Classic leadership mistake.

Values-driving cannot be offloaded to H.R., your assistant, nor anyone else.

That job stays on the leader’s shoulders.

The point is, driving core values through your organization isn’t simply one of the leadership functions you have to play. It must be something that is a part of everything thing you do in leadership.

Avoiding these value-killers could be just the starting place you need.

What values-killers would you add to the list?



the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.


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