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The Value of Values

by Dr. Burl W. Randolph Jr.

Much is heralded about values these days. At home, at work, in the community, values have always been important, but even more so today. What is the value of values in business? During the months of February and March 2017, I wrote about Army Values every week. As the Army Values are outlined on the picture above, Army Values spells the acronym most important in the Army: LDRSHIP or Leadership. You can have all the value attributes or characteristics, but in the Army, without leadership to inculcate those values, the values conversation falls flat. Because I used the term inculcate, that confirms the premise that:

Values are taught, not bought or caught

Values may be defined as:

  1. Something held in high regard; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
  2. A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

How does your organization define values? What value are values in business?

  1. Values help create the foundation for the organization.
  2. Values help us develop and align the vision for the organization.
  3. Values help us permeate the purpose throughout the organization.
  4. Values help us pursue the right objectives for the organization.
  5. Values help in developing and managing talent for the organization.
  6. Values help us overcome obstacles to success.
  7. Values remind us where our successes came from.
  8. Values help us define our financial objectives.
  9. Values help us translate strategic objectives into tactical execution.
  10. Values help us design legacies that last.

Do not assume that everyone in your organization has your values, if you have not shared what those values are. Organizational values can take time to develop and understand within an organization, but is well worth the time. Values create the COP: Common Operating Picture, that allows the organization to function based on the intent of the leader, even when content or substance, are sparse.

So, what value do values have, in your organization?

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