Download (direct link):
Questions to Ponder
• What is your organization's positioning? Is it really better relative to the competition?
• Where are you on cost factors? How much do you use it to sell something?
• Are you competitive on all five factors of the star model? Do your customers want them all?
• What does high quality stand for in your organization? Is it about product quality or high-quality customer service or quality of experience?
What do we want our core values and culture to be?
Missing Element #3: Phase A
Core Values Revisited: More Essential Than Ever
Core values is a familiar concept to most progressive executives as well as change and OD consultants. (See Hultman, 2001, for a full treatment of this key subject.)
As we saw earlier, a primary focus either on economic alignment or on cultural attunement leads to failure in Enterprise-Wide Change. Selection and institutionalization of the right core values are crucial to 21st Century success. Research shows that the most successful enterprises have strong core values that are articulated and shared throughout the organization. They lead to business excellence and superior results, time after time (Collins & Porras, 1997).
Today, most enterprises are at least partly service organizations depending on their people to satisfy each customer. Thus, the cultural attunement of people's hearts and minds has finally been recognized as crucial to strategic success. Core values are the social glue that holds an organization together. People generally want to believe they are working and being treated honorably. It is as important to them as money. Most organizations do not derive honor and integrity directly from their products and services, so the best way to achieve it is by building and sustaining organizational values and the culture that results.
Clarity of Purpose: Working On the Enterprise
For change consultants who focus primarily on economic alignment of delivery, adding core values and cultural attunement to their tool kits is especially crucial. Failing to understand and embrace the importance of attunement, in fact, is part of the number-one failure in Enterprise-Wide Change, namely a mechanistic, fragmented, analytic view of a systems problem.
There doesn't seem to be only one set of correct core values for an organization. The Systems Thinking Approach integrates with positioning and strategic direction. In fact, the term guiding principles is often used instead of core values, which are seen as more personal rather than organizational in nature. These principles should guide the behavior of all employees in the enterprise, reflecting a mix of both the economic alignment and cultural attunement schools of thought. Too often, they are not.
^ THINK D I FFERENTLY
One of our current clients in the electronics industry in California was updating their EWC Game Plan.
When they reexamined their core values, they discovered that they had no core value regarding performance and accountability. It was a key part of the CEO's values and how they were running the enterprise anyway, so they rectified the situation and added it as a core value.
Without this addition, their core values may have sounded nice, but they were disconnected from their senior leader's values.
In summary, keep in mind these two key points:
First, core values are often developed in large group consensus processes with a typical yet unintended result—a wonderful exercise that may miss the consensus and buy-in of senior management as to how they actually run the business. Without this buy-in, these core values (guiding principles) are just a piece of paper to be used at new-hire orientation—and rarely elsewhere.
Second, some core values (guiding principles) are more effective than others in dealing with our complex and chaotic world. A list of what we personally believe are guiding principles important to enterprise success in the 21st Century is in Table 5.2.
What is on your list?
Table 5.2. Suggested Core Values
Learning and Knowledge Transfer Holistic and Systemic Orientation
Creativity and Innovation Flexibility and Adaptability
Relationships and Connectedness Openness, Sharing, Feedback, and Communications
Courage and Integrity Accountability and Responsibility
Teamwork and Collaboration Customer and Service Orientation
Speed and Responsiveness Parallel Involvement Process and Communications
See the Chapter Recap for a checklist on assessing core values and uses throughout your organization.
How will we measure our vision and goals?
Missing Element #4: Phase B
Key Success Measures
Metrics is a buzzword in the public sector, while in the private sector, we often hear about "The Balanced Scorecard." Understanding measures is easy. Developing them is difficult.
To develop useful organizational metrics, you first need to define your positioning. Once you've defined that, the way to know whether you're reaching your goals is through measurement. That's where key success measures (or measurable goals)—Phase B in the Systems Thinking Model—come in.