Talk of values, behaviours and ethics can often lead to a far-off look, glazed eyes and an expectation of an exam in compliance. We take a very different view. Our aim is always to go beyond rational understanding to connecting people emotionally with purpose, a brand’s story and its strategy. Values and their related behaviours are an essential part of rallying people around that common purpose with a guiding framework that helps them achieve autonomy and being at their best. We should be thinking about a jet pack rather than a straightjacket.
Whether creating a new brand story or helping an organisation engage its people with a new code of conduct – it’s essential to get under the skin of the organisation’s culture and understand what shapes what employees think, feel and do.
The insight this generates is essential in creating inspiring programmes that galvanise employees into turning words describing values into purposeful daily action.
When employees know how to make values and behaviours relevant to their daily work, the concept moves away from generic corporate ‘telling’. Instead, it gives them a sense of connection to and involvement with the company purpose.
For example, in our work with a global house of luxury brands, we involved nearly 20,000 of its leaders and managers in agreeing the new set of organisational behaviours required to unite its people across the world and raise performance. Through this transparent and creative process, these people were active participants in shaping the organisation’s future by isolating the essential behaviours that support its ambition and values, and which are now being embedded in its performance processes.