I have recently being doing work in and around the not-for-profit and mutual sectors. What is clear to those organisations is often lost in the wider business market. Value depends on values. If we want to accelerate value creation, we need to found our efforts in the expressing the values of the organisation. If we have challenges realising value, we are wise to look to values as a potential barrier.
Found Connection in Purpose & Values
Purpose is the core reason the organisation exists. In connecting people across the organisation, it is essential to leverage this rationale and invite employees to connect their personal purpose in pursuit of this value to others. Purpose will also be an expression of the shared values in the organisation.
Values are an important part of this alignment. Enterprise social collaboration is a megaphone of organisational values, not the ones on the poster, the real values in action across your organisation. If you want to focus on fostering the value that flows from collaboration, you will want to reinforce the constructive values and address any negatives.
We are now clear that psychological safety is a key enabler of collaboration. Shared expectations within and across teams in an organisation help create this environment of safety to share, criticise and take risks. Those shared expectations are the values in action in your organisation. This is culture – the expectation of interactions.
A key step in setting up connection is working with executives, champions and other leaders to foster the visibility of the positive behaviours. Showcase the best of your values and help employees to move towards positive change.
Another key issue that improves psychological safety and demonstrates constructive values is leveraging the new collaboration capability to share with openness, authenticity and a reduced power difference between senior executives and other employees. The greater the power difference in interactions and the less transparent senior executives are the more uncertain employees will be of the value of contributions. Values will be shaping the value creation from day one.
Values Enable Scaled & Agile Change
Values shape how quickly organisations mature the value of their collaboration. Highly valuable collaboration depends on employees having the encouragement and ability to address issues and realise strategic goals together.
The four drivers of value in collaboration, growth, velocity, effectiveness and protection, each depend on the ability of employees to identify, share and come together to create solutions that improve the organisation’s performance of its strategy. Without constructive values, this work by employees will be blocked, deferred or frustrated.
This work demands organisations practice values that support this value creation by employees:
- Openness: Is the organisation and its people open to hearing the good and the bad? How is feedback taken and actioned? Does the organisation listen to all voices – powerful and quiet, internal and external?
- Integrity: Does the organisational conversation reflect the practice of integrity by employees? Is there a realistic view of what is going on? Are employees misleading each other?
- Recognition: Are the efforts of employees celebrated? Are good outcomes and bad outcomes discussed openly recognising the contributions and the outcomes?
- Generosity and Reciprocity: Do employees give of their ideas, time and talents? Are those gifts reciprocated by the organisation and other employees?
- Autonomy & Initiative: What degrees of freedom do employees have to initiate change? What impetus is there for employees to take action without waiting for others or waiting for instruction?
- Trust: are employees trusted to make change for the better?
Values play a key role in shaping the potential value creation by employees in collaboration. Through all stages of the Value Maturity Model we need to foster more constructive values in action.