Disconnected Company Values

Let’s look at the gap between a company’s values and its company culture.

🚨 If we’re being generous, the stated values are aspirational. They are a beacon, and the company is working towards it.

🙏 Too often, it’s just PR and wishful thinking.

Often, a company’s values originate at a leadership away day or with an external consultant. The people involved may be steering the ship, but they are usually far away from the realities of delivering the vision. They might be a little bit out of touch.

⬛ Values Void ⬛

Sometimes, it’s an internal communications issue. The vision from above hasn’t filtered down properly. Upper management provides insufficient clarity or direction on achieving their values, and so the employees bring their own experiences and personalities to co-create an emergent culture. It lacks intentionality. It may not be that bad! But it’s not aligned with a vision from the top.

Or it might be really bad! Inefficient, unsupportive, negative, unengaging, alienating, careless… And unmanaged!

🤜 Opposed Values 🤛

The worst case is when the culture of the business, in practice, is in opposition to its stated values. This is when the stated values are really just marketing blah blah, and the company or its employees have a more pessimistic reality.

Some examples:

👨‍👩‍👦 A family business that has outgrown its roots, where colleagues compete for individual recognition and personal gain. 

💔 A customer-focussed business that cuts corners to save cost, and delivers a lower quality product. 

💡 An innovative company that punishes risk taking and failure. 

😢 A values-based business that pays lip service to workplace wellbeing with benefits packages that are never utilised.

Please share your observations!

Without necessarily naming names, what are some examples of this values disconnect that you’ve seen? At your own companies, at clients and suppliers, or just in the wild?
🔄 Please share in the comments!


See the other elements of this series on company values: Living Company Values, Celebrating Company Values and Co-creating Company Values.

#Values #CompanyValues #CompanyCulture #LivingYourValues #Disconnect

Photo by Maxime Gilbert on Unsplash

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