I recently spoke to a dear friend of mine Paul Ter Wal in Holland about Values and Culture. It is always fascinating to see how that perspectives internationally are different and yet similar in many ways. Paul has highlighted a challenge that I have observed in Namibia so many times and, in my humble opinion, managed to find an innovative new approach to tackling it. I trust you are now interested enough to gain more information and convert that to knowledge that will move you and your organisation forward.
In many interactions with companies that some became clients and some never had that privilege I discovered that the Values of the organisation is an unknown factor. I would walk into the boardroom of an exco team and suggest that we start the meeting with a simple rating exercise involving their companies’ values. Immediately you would see google being engaged in a frantic search for the values. This is not only tragic it is dangerous. Leadership in organisations live under the illusion that the values on the wall dictate what happens on the ground. They think that these are the ground rules that drive behaviour which will make them profitable.
The scary reality is that there are rules that have not been written down which are shaped by the laws of OUR nature that are having an impact on behaviour. Many times, these unwritten rules contribute to the companies’ demise. These rules that make up the building blocks of organisations culture are the reason why leaders have good intentions and plans and still the organisational ship is moving in the opposite direction.
Paul explained to me how to get the core values that everyone ascribes to and via this process finding the core values that actually drive the unwritten rules that define the corporate behavior. With this in hand a redesigning process can be embarked upon towards a happier and more profitable organisation.