June 17, 2024

The power of meaningful organisational values

If you think most organizational values aren’t worth the paper they are written on, then this is the episode for you.

Today, on UnSaid at work,  we explore why having organizational values matters and what good values look like.

My guest, Jackie Le Fèvre, is the perfect person for this discussion. With a PhD in human values psychology and a background in zoology and human behaviour, Jackie brings deep insights into understanding people.

We tackle questions like: 

💡 What’s the point of organizational values (since most seem pointless)? 

💡How can leaders and teams use them effectively? 

💡What’s the link between culture and values? 

💡What do good values look like?

Jackie shares specific examples of meaningful corporate values and how they’ve been applied in recruitment, procurement, and during crises.

Curious to determine your personal values? Get my tool here:


Connect with Jackie:

Weekly newsletter | Ask Catherine | Work with me | LinkedIn | Instagram

Big shout out to my podcast magician, Marc at iRonickMedia for making this real.

Thanks for listening!


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One of the things we know is when people are constantly connected to their values, they don't produce cortisol. Just thing. So if you're about to go into an examination situation or an interview situation, indeed, consciously connecting back to your values, just spending five or 10 minutes can go, these are the things that lasts to me, this is who I am. This is why I've shown up here, this is my best foot, the one I want to put forward. We don't produce the cortisol. It's really, really powerful. And because it's powerful in that kind of way, it correlates with our best performance.

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Remember, Enron, the as an organization, touted the value of integrity, before filing for bankruptcy and seeing many of their leaders imprisoned, still, what folks bargain, one of their organizational values was ethical, all while selling what they call clean diesel, Wells Fargo, a defraud customers whilst promoting ethics as a core value. So if we just think of these headline examples, as no one is that we're all cynical about organizational values, you were listening to you and said at work I'm your host, Catherine Stagg Macy and executive and team coat interested in the conversations we don't have at work and the topic of what on earth the point is, are organizational values is one of those conversations I want to have. And this week episode brings me some hope, because I found the perfect guest for this episode. I kind of talked about this person who had done their a PhD in human value psychology, and I'm like, wow, that's the coolest thesis I've ever heard.

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So I have to have her on the show. So I'm delighted. She said, Yes. So my guest is Jackie DiffServ, who, by her own admission, has had a fairly unconventional career she qualified, originally as a zoologist. And after more than a decade and nature conversation, she turned her attention to human behavior, and has been trying ever since to understand people so she will fit right in on and did it work. She's had a career in volunteering, community sector work, working locally and regionally and nationally in the United Kingdom. And then she started sort of specializing in values based practice, and got her PhD thesis awarded at the end of last year. In this episode, she generously entertains my cynicism about organizational values, she's quite honest, by being fully on board as to why we might all roll our eyes at the corporate value statements.

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So we get into what we mean by values versus beliefs or morals, the perfect number of values in my habit and organizational statement, how to create good ones, how the alignment to values, benefits and organization. And a great example from her own work where there was a short downside in the short term of living by the organizational values, but a very big upside in the long term. She's very generous. And she has loads of her own concrete examples from her work in the area, which I think really cements this in our understanding. So I'm excited to share this fun conversation with you. Jackie, welcome to unset.

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At work, this is a conversation I have been looking forward to because I think organizational value second, I know you're going to convince me otherwise.

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we'll give it a good shot. So sure.

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I don't doubt I have the best woman on the case. Yeah. So we're going to talk about primarily about organizational values. But I would let's start with personal values, because I think that's probably a gateway that people can understand. Let's share and be curious to hear like, what's one of your core values, personal values, one

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of mine is something you may not have heard of before, Min essence, the min essence value is a bow, the simplification of complex things for practical application. So it's not simplicity for simplicity's own sake. And it's not simplicity for elegance, or any of those sorts of things.

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But it is specifically to take a complex thing that's not that easy to use, but actually is really important. Actually matters actually can be useful to get hold of that complex thing and go, Okay, what are the actual nuts and bolts? What is the actual purpose of this thing? What is the difference it can make in the world? How do we make it possible for people to see it and use it? So it was first identified through work done by Brian Hall and Benjamin toner on their inventory of human values, which was cross culturally validated. And my lessons I love and my clients who know me the best, actually now use it as a verb. They'll phoned me up and they'll go Hey, Jack, like so this this thing?

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And it's happening and it needs menacing. Can you come do it?

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You're, you're talking my language. I'm there. You've got a PhD in vet.

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I mean, your PhD was right values, isn't it? And we're here to talk about it. organizational values, which I think listeners will be in my largely in my camp of like, what's the freaking point? Because I just feel so we're living your value by just having this conversation?

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Absolutely you are living your value.

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And what that was a large part of what drove me to do the PhD anyway was that one. And I have a really big value around discovery insight, a desire to undertake patent in the investigation to understand and be able to describe in concrete terms, what's going on.

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And so that was that was my thing with the PhD. My bones told me this stuff works. It's real, it's it's kosher, it's solid, it's spot on, but most of the evidence, the evidence base is weak or or non existent or contradictory. In some cases, this is all too complicated. A it needs to be simpler for practical application, but it needs to be patent. So if he got patent it, codify it how would you share it with so keycard and why should they believe you? You can't provide any evidence? Why should they believe those two things really kind of made me go? I'm looking down the double barrel shotgun for years of real things legs, your plane, is it worth it? By golly, it is. And that's when you know, you've hit something cool for yourself.

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Even if it's more difficult, even if it costs you money, even if it takes a lot of effort.

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Even if it might make you unpopular, in certain circumstances, you do it anyway.

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And it's not a kind of grip thing. It's not a grin and bear it kind of thing. It's a I need to do this being who I am, and standing for what I stand for.

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This is something I need to see through. And you find the energy to do it.

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When I do the values exercise with with clients, as I'm sure you do, too. And they haven't done any values work. This is this when they when they uncover value, there's a real sense of knowing yourself like, oh, like, that's why I get angry at this thing.

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Or I get called towards that thing and why I feel compromised by this. See,

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and one of the things I hear a lot, and I suspect you do is is vote kind of going, I can see it now. It's that sense of somehow, the mist and the fog has just been blown away. And the situation or the opportunity or the relationship comes into crystal focus, and Jani now a cassette. And once you see it, you can respond. If you can't see it. You're you're struggling, because you're fumbling, you're fumbling in the midst and nobody can do their best work if they're fumbling.

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But if you see it, then you can start to be discerning you can Yeah, bring your best self to it. All of those things.

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It's a North Star, I think personal.

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Yeah, personal values. One of my values 80 episodes into this podcast is telling you what discovering insights. It feels like a rich language for me to just call it learning. But it's like I'm always looking to learn new things in every situation I am it just drives me I started pottery two years ago, I'm completely obsessed. I'm down the geek rabbit hole of glaze combinations and temperatures and killed tools. And it's like why and I make because I get excited I get energy from learning and understanding how something works. And I can own that I completely own that I'm absolutely fine with it. And if I take on a new project, it's like, can I learn through this, and you've

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just hit on another of the key characteristics of values, which is they are energy rich, I'm sorry, emotionally, and energy rich ideas. They are constructs.

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They are not facts. They are not beliefs. There's many things that they are not but they are emotionally rich and energy laden. That's why they're so powerful to know at an individual level. And so powerful to share at a team or organizational level because it literally makes our motor run

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love that emotionally written energy laden. Yeah, that completely speaks to my experience. Your words are very icon points. Just what happens when you do a PhD.

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You're like, Yes, that's what I felt for so long. I love it.

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This was some of the misconceptions about values, because there are values and beliefs and morals like are they all the same? So

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no, they're not? And that's a great question. It's a key question.

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One of the academic researchers I like as a woman called Meg Rohan, and she wrote probably 15 years ago, definitional inconsistency is epidemic. In the field of values. Everybody should forgive themselves and others for not being quite sure what it is that we're talking about. Because too many words are used interchangeably. The main ones being beliefs, morals, ethics, principles, and none Have those things about us? So what are they? Well, beliefs are our truths. Those things about which we are highly certain, to these form our mental model of the world. Within is human beings, because listeners may or may not realize by originally I was a zoo ologists. So I'm kind of like very sort of evolutionary biology based. And human beings are long lived social animals. If you are a long lived social animal, what that means is you live in a dynamic context, because the weather changes around you the seasons, you get older, but also your community changes around you, because the community you were born into is not the same one that you will be an adult in. And he's not the same one that you will spend your old age. And so there are a lot of moving parts that you can't control. And because of that, you need to keep as much of the bandwidth here for dealing with uncertainties in the moment as you possibly can. To do that there needs to be some thumb some things that you just take as truth. This is how it is, this is how my world is because you can't invent that stuff all of the time. At the same time.

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For a really, really simple example, you and I each knew that we were going to work this morning, when we got up. We did not say to ourselves, as we got out of bed, do I need to get dressed, the wearing of clothes or not? was not part of the computation. We believe in our world, it is a truth that you get dressed, then you go to work. There are not days and you get up or go to work with no clothes on. Even during the pandemic, we were at least dressed from the waist up. Yeah,

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Reduces the effort of the brain to make decisions. Yeah, it runs

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as an unconscious script and enables us to deal with the finer detail. What to where to show up at work, different question. And that depends on what we see as our professional self. What is most important in the moment? Is it most important to be power dressed to come across as having status? Is it most important to be stylish to be seen as ALA mode? Is it most important to be constable so that we can concentrate on the connection rather than fidgeting and thinking I wish I hadn't worn these trousers? They're a nightmare to sit in? What is most important? And that's that's the land of values is how do I want to show up who is the person that I am? So beliefs a truce things about which we are highly certain and they form our mental model of the world? Then we got morals. Morals are in the land of judgment. Morals, say what is right, and what is wrong, what is in and what is out. This is different to values because values in and of themselves are neutral. No such thing as good values, no such thing as bad values. There just are emotionally rich, energy laden ideas. That's all they are. We could say patriotism, King and Country. Nothing wrong with that. If somebody took patriotism and used it as a platform for terrorism, we would go is wrong. But it's what they're doing. That's the thing that is subject to moral judgment. It's not not the idea that drives morals, adopted viewpoints on right and wrong.

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And we take them on board from our systems, family system, our educational system, our professional system, our faith system, whatever it happens to be they're taken on rules from there we bring them in ethics, then is the code by which we act. Gazan, our mental model of the world, this is how the world works. And these are the things that are right. And these are the things that are wrong. What does that mean for how we shall be together to move forward. So a lot of professions have codes of ethics, organizations will produce codes of conduct, which is in effect a code of ethics, but again, not values, because it's about right and wrong, and it's about judgment. Principles, meanwhile, are universal rules that always apply. For example, if we think about the principle of gravity, I take my hairbrush.

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If I drop it on my keyboard, I'm not going to I hasten to add, but if I dropped it on my keyboard, it would fall. If I let go of it over there by the door, it would fall. It always gonna fall doesn't matter where I let go of it on Earth, because gravity is a universal law that applies to principle in human systems, take our criminal justice system, that principle is innocent until proven guilty.

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So until evidence has been gathered, prison tid weighed and measured by a jury of your peers and they come back and they give a verdict. The accused is on As the accused, they are not the perpetrator, they are not the burglar, they are not the murderer they not, they're none of those things until if and until a jury of their peace, peace is guilty. At that point, they become the criminal. It's a universal law that is applied.

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And again, not not values, values are emotionally rich and you laden ideas are about what matters and what your core values are the things that matter most.

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And I think some of the some of the confusion in in the organizational values world comes from the use of language.

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If we record I was saying I'd seen in websites, people, companies quoting values, their insights or their principles or something like that. Absolutely.

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So even in the in the personal value world, I think there's a misuse and mis use of words, and a misunderstanding of the words and then that is carried into the organizational cultural lands. And you

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see, because the organization says, Here are our values we believe you get with you, but you're already talking about something different. Here are our values, our values are to be ethical.

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What does that mean? Because until you tell me what's in and what's out, and therefore how it gets codified, I can't understand the significance of that term. And this is partly now you can hear my main essence value getting a little bit arch in the back of my voice, okay.

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Yeah, how many may taking this complex thing and made it simple enough for practical application? Oh, that's what needs to happen. Because it's not about making it clever. It's not about making it polished.

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It's not about making it sound it it needs to be meaningful to the people of the place. And it needs to be in the words of the people of the place. Otherwise, how are the people of the place going to actually get to understand it and put it into practice. So no, don't bring in an advertising agency to write your values, bad move.

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It does seem to be a correlation, the larger the organization, the fake of the presentation of whatever they're calling their values is feels. I mean, I've just, it's just a sense that it's not there's no lot of data data other than what I've seen, smaller organizations seem to be able to hold on to the core understanding of value and articulate and potential ticket and where that makes sense. And then it gets diluted into nonsense.

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There are some, some big organizations out there that cracked it, Zappos, fantastic poster child for this work. Southwest Airlines were really big one very, very simple, just three values, which make complete sense, innocent drinks are very, very straightforward. And you can see them being applied, you can see them showing up like fingerprints across the work.

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And then there are others that you read. And you think, really, I'm not going to clearly name any major consulting houses, but just look at what they say and look at what they do and come to your own conclusion.

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It's funny what I was looking at some of the consulting as before, the call for anyway, we both went to the same place. So before we get into the kind of good examples and bad examples, let's let's kind of take a step back and say, well, what's the point of an organization of having values,

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the first thing to say is the organization has values, whether it knows it or not, because an organization is simply a collection of people who have come together to do a thing. And when humans come together to do a thing, what happens is they socialized to a canvass of values, that has meaning for the collective. And you'll see in if you have anything to do with young people, nieces, nephews, laborers, you will see when they're in the group, the certain dynamics that take place has certain things that matter more to the group. And it might matter more to them, that they are really, really helpful to everybody around them. Or it might matter more to them that they're just having a laugh.

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This is all about the laugh, or whatever it happens to be. And that's socialization to a pattern of value. So it's happening inside the organization's whether they know it or not, because it's just part of what it is to be human.

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You have your values, I have my values. And what we noticed, as we struck up our first conversation before we came into this one was that there were certain things where we both went, Oh, yeah, that resonates that chimes. That's a harmony.

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Absolutely. That rings true. And that happens with other people.

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So we have a mutual friend, Rachel. And when we each talk to her, there are things that make us each go, Rachel is just like one of the best humans are, but it's different to what resonates between you and me. Amen.

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Because different values come to the fore at different times. So yes, to your question, what's the point of organizations doing In any work on conscious connection to values, rather than leaving it running as an unconscious script, is that when you are consciously connected to values, you can deliberately use them. You certainly leaving them in the background doing they're very important and vital kind of operating system job, you can bring them out and go, Okay, let's deliberately use this as a way of looking at what to do next. Because all individuals, all teams, all organizations are faced with an array of choices every day, should it be a or b, or Q or Zed that we do next. And if you've got the values, if they are mean, if they are meaningful values, you can see it and you can say, to be most like us, to honor the things that matter most to people like us, here is how we need to look at it. Example, Manchester managed on lower Manchester mind love for them worked on their values back kind of 2016 2017.

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And they have really worked very, very hard to pay attention to their values, they knew that they wanted to revise their recruitment procedure. Now you can revise your recruitment procedure in or not variety of ways. You can go to websites and go what is best practice in recruitment, you can bring in an HR advisor, and they can say legally, here are all the steps that you need to take in order to be legally compliant. So there's a lot of different ways of doing it. Manchester mind step, sat back and said, our number one value is belonging.

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And part of the way in which we seek to establish belonging is about really focusing on kind relationships. Because if the relationship is not kind, how can you start to feel like you belong? Let us look at recruit him in a selection and say, What is the most unkind aspect of it?

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The most unkind aspect of it? Is candidates feeling ambushed when they come in to interview.

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That's not kind. What sorts of things to people worry about people worry about not knowing what the questions are that fog of uncertainty, because you don't know who your panel is to data data judge is not being able to get access to information if you have questions deserve that. And so that was the lens through which they looked at their recruitment process. And they went, we're going to identify somebody who is important in the organization, but is outside of the recruitment selection process. And any applicant is free to phone that person and ask them questions. Because they're not going to make part of the decision. So you're not kind of interfering with the objectivity side of it. But if somebody needs access to information to be able to understand if they might want to come and work here, or what they want to tell us about themselves, so be it. They're prepared to take the initiative to have the conversation. Good, good for them. We are going to tell people when they are shortlisted, how long the interview will last, how many people will be on the panel who will be on the panel? And we're going to tell them that 48 hours in advance of the interview, they will be sent the interview questions, you got to ask yourself, what is the interview for? Is it? Is it some kind of test? Are you trying to find folk who can just talk really slick at next or no notice your mental health? Charity? I don't think you do. I think you look at the people who are considered who are willing and able to show up as a genuine human being that yeah, they're the people who are not not the people who in the moment go, oh, no, no, oh, they've just said, cannot perform under pressure. And I got, oh, I don't know the lyrics to all of that what you Freddie Mercury start with, I mean, because questions can mean different things in different so they send out the interview questions once eight hours in advance, because that's kind of what it gets them is much better performance inside the interviews and also was really interesting because it's a mental health charity. When the anecdotal feedback they get from folk who don't get the job was this was the most encouraging supportive interview process have ever been through? Sadly didn't get it but I feel like I was given a fair shot. And and I'd love to apply again in the future if anything comes up because of mental health charity. What do you not want to do? You don't want to do damage to people who've applied for you, John, wonderfully

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explicit example.

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That's an essence in action. But they have to do that to be able to do that. There's got to be a conscious connection. It can't be unconscious.

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Yeah, everyone because there's loads of people involved in in an interview, recruitment process, loads of people and so there's lots of people you've got to have logged in. To kind, as you said, it's like I know what kind means in our organization. And if we're going to apply it, okay, yes, I'm on board for making changes that are pretty revolutionary in the modern world, in the in the recruitment process, because it takes us down for, for I value, to answer the questions about dissecting or helping people make a decision, what

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you get as an organization choices, the bounce that you get from that is, you get increased coherence of decision making matter where anybody is in the organization, they are using the same guiding stars to make their decision, you get increased confidence in decision making, because individual managers and individual officers don't feel like they're out on a limb, trying to figure it out. They've got a framework to imply, and you get increased stakeholder confidence, because the stakeholders go, we know what that is to them, and we can see it showing up. So if they say we've had to think about this, and we feel this is the way to go, we can have confidence in that as their judgment. Yeah,

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coherence, it's a great, it's a great upside. A quick interruption of this episode, if you're doing the conversation about values and curious about your personal values, I have just the tool for you to knowing your own values helps you understand who you are, and what matters to you.

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You know, just like organizational values, they guide you to make difficult decisions and feel good about them. They just guide you to feel more seen and more authentic in how you show up in life. I was 40 years old before I learned my personal values, and even what values meant. And I wish I'd known them sooner. So in just 10 minutes of your time, this exercise will reveal your top three personal values. And all the feedback I get from clients is like wow, I can't I feel so seen. And just these few words, you'll have clarity to know what truly matters and just to live accordingly. The link to the exercises in the show notes.

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I'm excited for you to do this work. Now let's get back to the interview with Jackie. When I would think loyalty is in there as well, thinking from the being on the receiving end of a tech company is a fairly well known tech company of who I had to go through a vendor vendor application process. Once they accepted my proposal now you've got to become an approved supplier and my eyes roll on my head. Because I've been through those processes before and they're absolute torture. It bit like the recruitment process.

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But they had automated this in a very friendly way. And one of their values of I'm going to do them an injustice, but the value is something around belonging or inclusion. And they said if you if you're a very small organization, like under 10 employees, we will pay you in under 10 days. Yeah. The most of my large organizations claim 60 and take it to 90 days and payment, which for a serial entrepreneur completely misses my cash flow. And no one no one gives a shit. Essentially no one gives a complete shit because they're managing it that they're managing their finances. So I tick the box small and I'm like, Okay, let's see how this works.

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With under 10 days, they had paid me the full 100% of the engagement and I was absolutely gobsmacked. I'm a huge fan of this is back to like, what's the upside? What's the bounce? Yeah, I think this organization is amazing. I'm only working with one person in there. But I'm like, I'm a fan already I was like this is the procurement process of all forgotten after the first pro processes is loving the organizational values fantastic.

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The other thing is the venues if they are truly core inside the organization, they will be universally applied, they will be brought to life, recruitment, selection, induction performance management, reward and recognition, learning and development planning, but also in procurement as supply chain management, and really important in governance, and leadership and strategy, you will see it and feel it everywhere. If it's truly cool.

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Some icon organizations in the early days of lockdown, and we had to make decisions about redundancies or whatever it was, the ones that found the most comfort had a set of values that they could lean into. So as you add a leadership level, it's like well, how do we make these decisions about redundancies or of taking furlough or not taking furlough or decisions like well, we will all take a 10% pay cut rather than put people on? Yeah, make people redundant. We have enough cash flow across the organization. So in sending an integrity, whatever version of that is they have for them, we will not take advantage of any of the furlough schemes, even though we could legally have met the requirements for furlough.

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We won't do it because it doesn't it's not aligned with our values. So you're in the really crisis times of leadership where I think the choices aren't clear. I think values, particularly in those times of crisis, where there isn't the data is there isn't an Excel spreadsheet that's going to cover your ass. It's the values that you lean into.

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And that's interesting because my PhD was looking at conscious connection to values and benefits come from that and impacts on wellbeing.

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So I was looking very much to the individual, therefore, I'm working with individuals who were consciously values connected. And one of the big themes that came out of it was, particularly in tough times, yes, when I use my values, particularly in tough times, particularly when it's uncertain when I'm unsure, when I maybe literally start to lose heart.

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Where does the courage of my conviction come from? Or where does the bravery to take the stand come from? It comes out of my values. Net. So it applies very much individually. But it also applies collectively. So a client I won't name in applying their values, they held a three year contract, they were invited to tender for renewal, but the specification of the contract had changed. And they knew they were shooing, they knew that their track record was such that nobody would be able to hand hold a candle to them on that, that they looked at the criteria and they went, Yeah, but this isn't how we do it. We wouldn't treat people like this. So they said no. It meant that some folk within their service then needed to be supported through redundancy. But they explained to the folk why they said no to the contract. And the folks said, if you take that contract and expected me to work like that, quite frankly, out of an hour, I mean,

00:31:26.160 --> 00:31:39.210
that's the ultimate crunch. Can you make financial decisions to your disadvantage, your cash flow or finances, because they align with your values looks like a short

00:31:39.210 --> 00:31:51.240
term disadvantage. But then what happened six months later is the commissioner came back and went, we can't find anybody to run this contract like this. Yes.

00:31:51.269 --> 00:31:55.740
And they said, Well, let us run it the way we have always run it. And they went. You're right.

00:31:56.069 --> 00:31:59.910
That's funny. Funny, ironic, funny.

00:31:59.910 --> 00:32:05.099
Yeah. So it occurs to me as we referred to your PhD when you're writing your book.

00:32:05.549 --> 00:32:06.420
Interesting question.

00:32:08.099 --> 00:32:11.759
For the rest of us, because I'm sure we wouldn't, we wouldn't be able to go through it.

00:32:12.329 --> 00:32:20.130
I have been invited to submit a proposal. So I tested, I need to get my finger out and actually do it.

00:32:20.130 --> 00:32:34.349
So yes, and my, my, my PhD examiner's, were very generous in their feedback. One of them said to me, as we got to edge and you do know, you have to turn this into a book. And now hold

00:32:34.349 --> 00:32:37.799
it away.

00:32:34.349 --> 00:33:14.250
Yeah, I agree. So hopefully, next few months. It's like, oh, that's exciting. It's exciting, because I just think this is, yeah, I think there's so much richness in how you shape and frame. What this is about. I mean, you're administrating as your clients, my little socks off? Yes. Vanessa. Yeah, I think I think we should put that into the Oxford Dictionary suggestion as they get into a verb is talking about what a strong set of values that what would constitute a good set of organizational values? Is there any sort of criteria that we could use or reflect through,

00:33:14.279 --> 00:33:27.000
there was a review published in the European Journal of Management back in 2015. And they they did it and a really nice, big piece of work in looking at basically, does articulating values have value?

00:33:22.769 --> 00:33:41.430
They said, Is there any point and they reviewed a lot of large publicly quoted companies, and so they they took the kinds of metrics you'd expect the financial performance, stakeholder management, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? And they came back? And they went? Yes.

00:33:42.089 --> 00:34:00.690
Yes, you can actually see a very strong correlation between values, expression values, alignment, and company performance, against a number of metrics. And they said, and what it appears to be is that for five or six is a good number.

00:34:01.109 --> 00:35:35.219
Because people are, how many do we need, they come back, and they've said four, or five, or six. And their hypothesis is that across kind of four, five or six, that's a reasonable Brett's of landscape. Because what you don't want to do is define things and describe them so narrowly, that you limit the folk who may be attracted to come and work there. You want to be a home for difference, because diversity is enormously rich, and creative and inspiring. And so you want a lot of different folks who say to themselves, hey, I could stop my stuff there. You want that scope, but you also don't want it so enormous, that everybody is looking in and kind of going one. I don't actually understand which bits supposed to be most important. So it's all a bit confusing. I won't bother you don't want that. The thing that they said was the conformity to norms. So having values that look a bit like everyone realsies doesn't help. Maverick ism is good. They said, it's when you really get a sense of the unique and distinctive spirit of the organization. So it's not having the same values as everybody else not conforming to. It's not the chairperson on the golf course on Sunday morning going, Oh, you've got a new set of values. What are they? Well, they sound good. And then going in on Monday go, we need to redo our values, just them down the road. They've got some and I need mine to be at least as good as that. No, no, I mean, I kid you not, though, you can imagine those are the kinds of conversations that take place.

00:35:36.989 --> 00:35:38.789
That's a conversation you've heard. Yes.

00:35:39.329 --> 00:35:39.809
And I do

00:35:39.809 --> 00:36:12.929
that it's about meaningful. And this is where they said is rich stuff. It's stuff that is distinct to the organization. That's what makes it go. So between four and six, and it needs to be rich, it needs to be meaningful, it needs to be distinct, I would add, it actually needs to be an articulation of values and not a Puddin. That's got beliefs and morals and ethics and principles and rights into it, to keep it distinct. I mean, we I mentioned Rachel, and you smiled and nodded.

00:36:13.320 --> 00:36:15.750
We've got the mind talking about to talk about her. Right,

00:36:15.780 --> 00:37:26.250
right. Last time, he said we may talk about her organization. So her organization is co working space. It provides independent living support and other support services to folk who may have disabilities may have enduring life limiting health conditions, may have acquired head injuries, folks who to live a full life benefit from the support from people who understand what a full life really is. And it's interesting when you look at making space, because you could look at Maggie's face, say okay, they're in health and social care. Therefore, they should have a value of, for example, person centered practice, because that jargon of the sector, the person centered practices, exactly, that is a practice. It's a way of working, that holds the person at the heart of what is being done. So what values make that happen? Is the question. Because you can you can write manuals on Person Centered practice, but how do you want the people to do it?

00:37:27.420 --> 00:37:31.800
It's like reception, okay?

00:37:27.420 --> 00:37:36.210
Reception is a very particular exercise inside an organization.

00:37:32.400 --> 00:38:07.920
There is a space that someone comes into, and they speak to somebody or they interact with a screen, and they get the information that they need to move to wherever in the building they're supposed to be. My my brother in law informs me I have to work off his recommendation because it's not something I've ever experienced. That reception in a five star hotel is a very lovely thing. Called people are beautifully turned out. They are smiley, they're polite, they're helpful. There's no no the you'll never feel rushed. By the same token, you don't feel like people are dragging their feet.

00:38:07.920 --> 00:38:24.539
It's all kind of very expeditious, but graciously done. Lovely, lovely, lovely, are walking through reception in my dentist surgery, and lady behind counter looks at and goes, You're late. Again. Now, to be fair, she's usually right.

00:38:24.539 --> 00:38:57.719
But to be fair, to me, I'm like 30 seconds and minutes late, because parking there is a bit of a nightmare. And even when I think I left enough time, there's temporary traffic lights, and it says I will. And then she goes room three and I go, Okay, I'm going I'm going to run up the stairs. In fact, the same things happen, the person's walked into a building and has been dispatched to where they needed to go, the manner in which it was executed. Very different. And that's mostly what organizations are concerned about is not that the work is done. It's how the work gets done.

00:38:57.900 --> 00:39:01.679
Because you could argue both of those a person centered Yes, you can

00:39:01.679 --> 00:39:10.380
absolutely are both centered. So we're making space said Dave said their number one value is kind hearts.

00:39:11.699 --> 00:39:49.110
And hope kind hearts means is generously building empathy, and connection to create a sense of belonging. And if you're going to generously build empathy, it means you are not impatient. It means you will put whatever you need to put in, in order for empathy and connection to be built. Which means that you need to put in whatever it takes for that person. It means you can't just kind of go, oh, on my case, let's this week I have five people called John. I will now use my John plan with each job.

00:39:49.320 --> 00:39:54.570
No, it doesn't work like that.

00:39:49.320 --> 00:40:06.630
Because John is a different person. And then, so what is then so you've got this connection And so you're with the person, you're starting to really understand the person.

00:40:02.219 --> 00:40:33.929
What do you do next? What guys what you do next. And I love this one, possibly my favorite one, tailor making what I love and value, which is nurturing unique relationships to make every day count. So what is it that last? Is that person in that day? How do you nurture that sense of uniqueness, and then make it for them? Not for anybody else, not for other people called John. But for that John, person

00:40:33.929 --> 00:40:35.400
in that moment. So

00:40:35.400 --> 00:40:53.550
this is this is this is what, in arised comes good values. Let's then let's not say Good, let's say effective, this is what effective organizational values are like they are richly stated down meaningful, they come they evoke emotion. Inside me

00:40:53.579 --> 00:40:58.349
back to ya emotionally rich and energy laden, you

00:40:58.349 --> 00:41:01.590
have personal values that align with that.

00:41:03.030 --> 00:41:41.070
Because someone who potentially has in their personal framework, maybe they have rationality, preferring reason to emotion, and efficiency, getting things done with a minimum waste hierarchy protocol, following the rules, and so nothing wrong with any of those things. My goodness me if you were an officer in the law court, you'd want someone who was rational and efficient and observe protocol, absolutely no question. If it's someone to go and sit with five different people called John, and find out what makes their heart sing and how they could be supported to have some of that in their life.

00:41:41.159 --> 00:41:47.519
That's not what you want. You want someone who's going to really, really align with kind hearts and tailor making,

00:41:47.820 --> 00:41:54.480
what's your view on using values in the evaluation process and your annual sort of performance evaluation process?

00:41:55.170 --> 00:42:10.980
It depends, I'm afraid now there is a classic researchers. Because it depends on the purpose. So if you want to have a conversation with somebody, and you want to turn around and say, okay, Hey, Priya, let's have a sit down.

00:42:10.980 --> 00:43:42.389
And let's have a chat about your performance. In what way? Have you fallen short on the company values this year? I mean, that's just don't do that. That's not helpful. But if you want to say, Priya, let's have a chat about the pieces of work, you got the most joy from the pieces of work that you felt, were a real contribution, maybe stretched you a bit, maybe were a bit difficult. But you felt at the end of the day that you were really happy with you are satisfied with the contribution you're able to make in that piece of work. Let's talk about how you want to go next year, where do you want to go with this? How would you what have you learned this year? How can we help you be your best you in doing the work in alignment with our values? Where are your ambitions? Where are your hopes, where your dreams? Let's have that conversation, then that's a lovely conversation, because one of the things that we know is that when folk are able to align their personal values to the work, they are buffered from stress. Let me explain what I mean by that. So when when we experience stress, which is kind of a sense of pressure, and also scale that is beyond what we feel like we may be able to handle in the moment, that's when it starts to become stressful. It's the I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm not quite sure what to expect to be I'm not quite sure about potency, I'm not quite sure.

00:43:42.960 --> 00:44:51.000
Stress comes with that. And when we are stressed human beings, the animal human under Stress produces cortisol and adrenaline. Adrenaline gets the heart pumping which supplies oxygen to the tissues, which is really important. And cortisol actually floods the prefrontal cortex neocortex, so the wrinkly bit up here does have the thinking, conscious thinking and expands all the gaps between the nerves. These are called synapses and then normally tiny, tiny gaps so that messages can flow really fast and efficiently. Cortisol gets in there and makes the synapses really expand, so that it is literally physically more difficult to think. Because this is an operating system for being a hunter gatherer This is an operating system for being out on the plains noticing that a saber toothed Tiger is approaching you and not rationalizing it not going. I saw her with a kill the day before yesterday, so she won't be hungry. She's just out for a stroll. No, you don't do that.

00:44:46.949 --> 00:45:28.320
You don't even get strategic where you start to run and think to yourself, whoa Jackie's got a limp. If I give her a shove, she'll go down and then I'll be safe. No, no I know that we'll just get the dickens out of there. So cortisol is there to rob us of thinking, so that we just save ourselves. The problem we've got is that in the modern world, it's not saber toothed tigers. It's an email we weren't expecting. It's not saber toothed tigers. It's a company announcement that has maybe been crafted a little clumsily. And so it's coming across as more austere that

00:45:29.159 --> 00:45:31.800
you're bussing. I need to speak to you.

00:45:32.579 --> 00:45:37.949
Can we speak Monday, nine o'clock Monday morning nine o'clock, your homeschool weekend guys.

00:45:38.789 --> 00:45:48.090
Somebody somewhere else in the hierarchy turning around to the whole team and saying new lock key calendars. Because tomorrow we have to get serious. About what?

00:45:48.570 --> 00:45:49.920

00:45:50.639 --> 00:45:54.239
Am I getting? My What the hell's happening? Yeah, now? Well, that

00:45:54.989 --> 00:46:55.980
is one of the things we know is when people are constantly connected to their values. They don't produce cortisol. Interesting. So if you're about to go into an examination situation, or an interview situation, indeed, consciously connecting back to your values, just spending five or 10 minutes can go, these are the things that lasts to me, this is who I am. This is why I've shown up here, this is my best foot, the one I want to put forward. We don't produce the cortisol. It's really, really powerful. And because it's powerful in that kind of way, it correlates with our best performance. So go back to the original question about like annual performance reviews, the more consciously values based we make them, the richer the conversation will be. And the better we are setting both ourselves up as, as the manager or supervisor of the individual, but also better supporting the individual to look at the coming six months or the coming 12 months and go, these are the flags I'm gonna fly and I'm gonna make it to the top of the mountain.

00:46:56.429 --> 00:47:08.610
And it implies something I don't think we've said explicitly that I would I want to make explicit here is that that conversation that you talked about was like a coaching conversation with your with your team member implies that you have an understanding of their personal values,

00:47:08.670 --> 00:48:35.550
it implies that they have an understanding of their purpose, or use. That's an important point, because I do values profiling work with folks and what have you. And and I will always say to the organization, I'm not going to give you a copy of their profile, you're not putting it on their file, because it won't mean anything to you. It will be meaningful to them, but not to you. So there is no point you having it, because different people play out the same value in different ways. So the value of respect, for example, for some people, the way they live out respect is very deferential, is regard for authority is respect for elders and betters that kind of putting people on a bit of a pedestal. So there's that kind of thing. For other people respect is a lot more mutual, it's quid pro quo, I'm going to treat you the way I would like to be treated. But I'm going to let you go first to see if you're worth it. And if you're not, if you treat me like a muppet, I'm going to give you my poetry back, because that's how this works. And then there's another kind of respect which comes much more from a kind of human dignity route, which is your human being makes you a living, breathing miracle. So you were the don't have to do anything to prove it. Be nice if you treated me in the same way.

00:48:32.309 --> 00:49:17.789
But you know what, even if you don't, because for whatever reason you haven't got the headspace or something else is going on or whatever. I'm still going to treat you like you're worthy. Cause you are even if you've been a bit of a muppet right now, there'll be a reason so I'm just going to treat you aren't you worthy, technically seem emotionally rich ng ln idea, this respect this, this this holding of someone in regard the how it gets practiced, very different. So it's not that the manager needs to know what the person has values are person needs to be supported to connect with their values and be encouraged to bring that connection into those conversations. Yeah.

00:49:18.480 --> 00:49:19.440
Makes complete sense.

00:49:24.719 --> 00:49:57.239
I just love Jackie's examples of her own personal value money essence what a wonderfully rich value and it's so clear as to how she's living her life in accordance to their value. Come back next week to hear the continuation of this episode. We put several of the most common corporate values in the hot seat like customer first or quality, love your work and Jackie brings her her directness and her sense of humor as to why some of those fall short and what and what you can do differently about them.

00:49:57.239 --> 00:50:07.079
So for some fun want to dig up your own company values for that episode, and rent a set, follow along, maybe find some of those in the hot seat, reflected in your own organizational values.

00:50:07.079 --> 00:50:17.130
You can write your own values as you listen along. Thanks for listening and if you know someone who needs to hear this episode or would enjoy to share it with them, and until next week, this is your wingwoman signing off.