After landing a clients Why? it naturally flows (and thinking back to Simon Sinek’s talk) that you ensure the values your organisation holds, and the way people behave to demonstrate those values, align to help you achieve the Why? In case you’re just tuning in, we’ve previously shared Part One and Part Two in this three-part series.
Forbes describes one way of undertaking this process here: Core Values
Depending on the size of the team we are working with, Values are often best kicked off through small group ideation discussion and then calibration with the larger group. Once again, using differently coloured post-its (are you seeing the connection here?), we get everyone to think about the values that are important to them, the values they see already being positively displayed in the organisation and if there are any values that will be needed if they are going to live the why.
Once we ideate, debate and land on 3, 4 or 5 values (4 is usually the magic number), we get to work on defining them and building a prototype. If you value Humility (for example), what behaviours will you see in the team and how will people act that shows or tells us that? I really don’t mind if these behaviours are quite specific and ideally, really tailored to every workplace.
If time permits, I like to take this opportunity to round out the design thinking approach and test the Values and Behaviours with the group by getting them to speak openly about which ones they might struggle with, which ones they are awesome at and provide some feedback to their colleagues along the same lines, which usually nicely finishes the day with something real and tangible and a great opportunity for the team to connect meaningfully.
Throughout these workshops, I encourage groups not to land anything that we could pick up and take to any other similar business and make it work for them, it has to be really bespoke and fit the culture and environment.
I think Patrick Lencioni, captured it best in his classic Five Dysfunctions of a Team when quoting an entrepreneur ”If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time”. That’s what having a Why? Values and Behaviours help you do!