It feels so good to have nailed your business strategy. You’ve got your Mission, vision, values and goals locked and loaded and yet the progress to your desired outcomes is still lumpy. Extremely frustrating. A.k.a. hell.
To help identify the key causes of this “hell” we need to clarify how well:
- Understood your values are in the organisation, and
- Embedded they are at every level of activity.
- honest etc.
- Stories: As noted in Tip 5 of “Top 5 tips for developing game changing business strategy,” [click through] I mention using stories to bring strategy alive at a grassroots level across an organisation. The goal is to celebrate stories that demonstrate how desired behaviours (as expressions of company values) are celebrated, as well as mistakes learned with a view to driving word-of-mouth seamlessly. The more staff talk about the stories, the more your values will live and breathe day-to-day in your business.
- Hiring approach. When you hire, do you evaluate how new talent fits with the core values of your enterprise? It surprises me how despite the varied technology available to analyse skills, behaviours and even core beliefs, insufficient time is taken to overlay a person’s innate way of being with the core values of a business. It’s not about looking for a perfect match. It’s about looking for enough of the match to be confident that when working with other colleagues and making decisions for the business they will fit well in the organisation. This is something that should be checked each year during performance reviews, as peoples’ value systems morph.
- Events. If you have the budget, consider six monthly offsite get togethers for diverse members of the organisation to make connections within an environment designed to bring the company values to life in authentic and fun way. For example, have a look at Corporate Battlefields. If your budget is constrained then think about holding some staff awards say, quarterly/six monthly, which applaud exemplary behaviours based on stories (as noted above).
- Check your values are about “being” and not “doing,”
- Benchmark your values for alignment with your strategy – aim for 80%, and
- Implement some easy wins to drive engagement with your values day-to-day.