14 Jul #077 – Integriosity – Re-Imagined Foundation – Values
ESSENCE: Once a leader, armed with a RENEWED understanding of God’s purpose for work and business, RE-IMAGINES the Purpose of the organization they lead, the next step is to Re-Imagine Values. Re-Imagined Purpose forms the cornerstone of the organization, but Re-Imagined Values complete the foundation. Values in an organization are critical because they serve to translate the purpose into an aligned culture–they are the plumb-line that keeps the organization’s culture in line with its purpose. Re-Imagining Values means identifying values that reflect and support the organization’s Re-Imagined Purpose and align with Biblical values and priorities. It is time to replace values as marketing tools with values that reflect a bigger WHY—RE-IMAGINING the heart of the organization by pursuing business a better way in alignment with Biblical values and priorities–it is time to begin faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity®.
Our last three posts (#074, #075 and #076) have looked at how a leader, armed with a RENEWED understanding of God’s purpose for work and business, begins to RE-IMAGINE the Purpose of their organization. With a Re-Imagined Purpose, it is possible to begin to Re-Imagine Values. If Re-Imagined Purpose forms the cornerstone of the organization, Re-Imagined Values complete the foundation.
But the foundation requires the right cornerstone. A Purpose devoid of a moral compass (e.g., profit maximization) does not support enduring Values. If, for example, profit maximization is really the Purpose behind a culture (even an intentional and healthy culture), then stated Values can change to adapt to the current or perceived demands of employees, vendors or customers–Values become a tool to achieve profit rather than “the right thing to do” and “who we are”. David Block, Founder and CEO of Previnex, shared a quote that beautifully captures the proper role of values as foundational elements defining the heart of the organization, rather than strategic tools for achieving its goals:
We live a better life when we let our values shape our dreams and our priorities rather than letting our dreams and our priorities shape our values.
Re-Imagining Foundation: The Importance of Values
Values in an organization are critical because they serve to translate the purpose into an aligned culture. As we have said many times in prior posts, purpose and values define the culture of an organization; the culture shapes the behavior of the people in the organization; and the behavior of the people drives the results of the organization. Values are the plumb-line that keeps the organization’s culture in line with its purpose.
Like purpose, an organization’s Values must be more than a statement on a website or a sign on the wall. Because Values are closer than purpose to the day-to-day behavior of an organization’s people, it is even easier for an organization’s stakeholders to identify when an organization is actually living out its Values–or not! And alignment of Values and behavior matters to people. As we pointed out in post #043, in their book, Completing Capitalism: Heal Business to Heal the World, Bruno Roche and Jay Jakub tell about an employee survey done at the Mars Corporation: “Employees who believe their management walks the talk of the values they espouse can (in our company culture, where this trait is highly valued) be considered to be experiencing through enhanced well-being an equivalent of a 30 percent pay increase.”
Re-Imagining Foundation: Re-Imagining Values
As we explained in post #056, an organization’s full intrinsic Kingdom value–the flourishing it could unleash–can only be realized if its purpose, values and priorities align with Biblical purposes, values and practices. Re-Imagining Values means identifying values that reflect and support the organization’s Re-Imagined Purpose and align with Biblical values and priorities.
When beginning to Re-Imagine Values, here are some questions to consider:
- Do you have values that reinforce the vision and mission and are enduring?
- Do your values reflect God’s priorities?
- Do you have organization-wide buy-in and regular reinforcement?
- Are your values understood by all stakeholders, including customers and vendors?
- Do you have policies and practices in place to recognize, and support, people who exemplify your values?
We live a better life when we let our values shape our dreams and our priorities rather than letting our dreams and our priorities shape our values. (Unknown)
Imagine as You Re-Imagine
As you take the tools of RENEW and begin to RE-IMAGINE Values, just imagine an organization:
- That has stated values it is prepared to live by (even when it may be costly).
- That ensures all personnel (and prospective personnel) understand and “buy into” the values.
- That ensures all other stakeholders (e.g., customers and vendors) understand the values and the organization’s commitment to them.
- That puts the values in its customer communications.
- That regularly reinforces the values in the organization (including from the highest levels of leadership).
- That recognizes personnel who exemplify the values.
- That ensures people know they will be supported in upholding the values, even at the cost of a customer.
- That is prepared to terminate even the most productive person who is unwilling to live by the values.
- That is prepared to forgo a lucrative customer that endangers its values.
- That asks “SHOULD WE” rather than “CAN WE” when assessing questions that challenge its values.
We believe it is time to replace Values as marketing tools with Values that reflect a bigger WHY—RE-IMAGINING the heart of the organization by pursuing business a better way in alignment with Biblical values and priorities–it is time to begin faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity®.
SPOILER ALERT: Re-Imagining Values is the bridge from Re-Imagining Purpose to the next step of RE-IMAGINE–Re-Imagining Culture.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): When starting Integrous, selecting the values I wanted it to stand for was a high priority. I settled on Excellence, Loyalty and Integrity. I put them in that order because the first letters spell “ELI”, which means “God” in Aramaic. It is what Jesus cried out from the cross. The Integrous values are included in our engagement letter with a client, together with an acknowledgement by our client that they accept the importance of these values to who we are and agree to cooperate with us in upholding them throughout the engagement.
- We are only interested in taking on representations that we believe we can perform or otherwise handle with excellence. If training, research or study necessary to handle a matter with excellence is needed in order for us to get more familiar with a subject matter, then the time and cost of that preparation will be for our account and not the client’s.
- We strive to work as efficiently as is consistent with excellence, but we will not compromise excellence in the pursuit of being the least expensive.
- Our loyalty to God means that we do not open our office on Sundays, we respect (and ask our clients to respect) the honoring of a Sabbath day by our people, our work expectations take into account faith as a higher priority, and we will not advice on business activities that we believe exploit weaknesses in people or that degrade people.
- Loyalty to our clients means that we do not bill more than we or they believe is fair, that we take extra care to avoid potential conflicts, that we make personal sacrifices to ensure excellence, and that we strive to do work as efficiently as is consistent with excellence.
- Loyalty to our families means that our work expectations take into account family as a higher priority.
- Integrity means that we will not knowingly engage in deceptive practices or misleading communications, either on behalf of Integrous or a client.
- Integrity means that we will only bill what we believe is fair and reasonable.
- Integrity also means that our work expectations take faith and family into account as higher priorities.
Copyright © 2021 Integrous LLC. Integriosity is a registered Service Mark of Integrous LLC.
Photo Credit: Original photo by By Jim Linwood [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons](photo cropped).