Why Your Values Might Be Harming Your Company | Sessions

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Concurrent Session
Why Your Values Might Be Harming Your Company
Tuesday 06/25/2024 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM   Add to calendar

Competencies: Business (Behavioral), Interpersonal (Behavioral), Leadership (Behavioral) | Intended Audience: Mid-Level, Senior-Level
Workplace Application:
Leaders often believe the values put them into a box. These values prevent them from making business decisions that would be profitable. Do they follow the ethical code of the organization, or do they pursue profit over doing the right thing? Being able to have a foundation for what is & is not acceptable is the ultimate measure for decision-making. 

A year-end (2023) Gartner report, 'Top 5 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2024,' found that organizational culture is the number two concern of HR executives. Culture has become a ubiquitous term that has evolved to mean anything to anyone talking about culture. When examining or establishing a culture, one common activity is the expression of the values.    What is often overlooked is the values and culture of the organization already exist. What is also frequently ignored is that every organization has unspoken values or a covert culture.  The covert culture is reflected in the behaviours that are learned through observations and experiences.¯They are the authentic values of the company. Once your values are stated, employees believe they are the right way of acting, and the organization will inherently do good.   So why, for so many leaders, are values a source of pain?   Why do leaders feel the values are limiting?    But what happens when leaders make decisions that counter the values?    There are many situations where the articulation of the values can result in employee stress and cynicism. What actions can you take to avoid expressing your values only to have leaders undermine them? What are ways to embed the values with employees at all levels so there is a common interpretation and application? What is the business case for living the values, especially in difficult times?   What do The Body Shop, Danone, IKEA, Chick-fil-A, Ben & Jerry's, TOMS, REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), Patagonia and Starbucks all have in common?

Learning Objectives:

  • What to do to ensure leaders are aligned with the values.
  • What is the difference between authentic values and aspirational values.
  • What is the implication if values are aspirational.
  • Why do leaders feel the values are limiting?
  • What happens when leaders make decisions that counter the values?
  • Why are many company value statements a source for employee cynicism.
Dr. David S.  Cohen Photo
Dr. David S. Cohen, Founder and Contrarian Consultant,
DS Cohen & Associates