Our values – individual, cultural, and organizational – are always at play. They create a context, an environment, a dynamic equilibrium; they contribute a certain order; they serve our purposes (the direction we’ve chosen for our lives, what we’re out to create, and the difference we are out to make). Values aren’t conditions for satisfaction—rather, they are conditions for wholeness, for integrity, for fulfillment. They don’t directly determine success and failure, but have a lot to do with our experience of integrity and authenticity. Moreover, values that are alive in an individual, culture, or organization actually shape action.
Although it looks like we have the values we have not as a function of choice, but as a function of history of circumstance, the truth is that values – individual, cultural, and organizational – can be created and embraced by others. We are never stuck with inherited values or yesterday’s values; values are declared, made up, invented, and created. We can invent new ones tomorrow or we can make the ones we already have “forever” values, but only because we said so – language is the medium in which we shape, articulate, and define who we are.
The methodology of generating values that are embraced throughout an organization has been potently demonstrated by Vanto Group clients in a vast array of industries, sectors, and cultures. The methodology employs a distinct way of facilitating conversation with a large broad-based group of participants, sometimes as many as 300 people representing all levels and constituencies. This representative group uses the methodology to generate an aligned on set of values in a surprisingly short time and then is enabled to communicate to their constituencies in a way that expands this alignment throughout the organization quickly and in a way that calls forth deep and lasting ownership.
"Building a business-focused, value-based organization is one of the critical tasks facing any company with global aspirations. Vanto Group partnered with us in working with a broad cross section of our workforce to develop business-based values that everyone could passionately embrace." ~Brad Mills, Former Vice-President for Strategy, BHP Billiton
Learn more about this methodology in the book, The Three Laws of Performance.