Corporate values shape organizational culture

Corporate values shape organizational culture

Posted by Torben Rick | September 2, 2014 | Corporate Culture
Corporate values shape organizational culture

Culture creates the foundation for strategy

Culture creates the foundation for strategy and will either be a company’s greatest asset or largest liability. While culture has many aspects and manifestations, its core should include a clear sense of purpose and shared values that guide decision making across the company.

Corporate values shape the culture and define the character of the company.

Great company culture starts with core values – An increasingly important component in strategic planning

Corporate values represent the guiding principles of the organization’s culture, including what guides members’ priorities and actions within the organization. Values are an increasingly important component in strategic planning because they drive the intent and direction of the organization’s leadership.

First step is to define a set of values that are clear, realistic, and hopefully not copied from someone else.

Then, develop a metric to measure the culture and see if the real values are consistent with the stated values:

  • Knowledge – Do people understand the values and can they identify behaviors linked to them?
  • Perceptions – What are people’s perceptions about the real values of the organization versus the stated ones?
  • Behavior – Count instances of behavior and decisions that are consistent or inconsistent with the values
  • Process – Assessment of policies, practices, and work/leadership processes that are consistent or inconsistent with the values
  • Outcomes – Awards/recognition, people fired or demoted for behavior inconsistent with values, image, audit findings, etc.

Corporate values shape organizational culture – Talkline core value wall

Corporate values shape the culture -Talkline Value Wall

Just focusing on the superficial side of values will not generate change

It is not enough to give Core Value Statements. Rather, it is much more useful to obtain examples of specific behavior examples. Storytelling can be great a vehicle for that! This can be best summarized with the phrase… “you can’t change a company with a memo”.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

One big mistake I’ve seen companies do to is to ‘claim’ desired or politically correct values instead of discovering the values that the company is actually living by. this only creates cynicism and undermines any real attempt to become values conscious. Can you speak to this?

I agree with Kathryn. Employees value their freedom and mostly are mostly come up creative ideas when given autonomy. Too much, unnecessary or redundant rules undermines the team spirit and kills creativity.

how might the strength and weakness of an organizational culture affect its strategic value?

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