Values can be identified quite simply - they are things for which you will sacrifice other things that you value. For instance, if you think you value the environment, are you willing to sacrifice the money for a carbon neutral balance on your next flight? Or if you value other 'peoples', are you willing to sacrifice the money you might save on cheap shoes where the source of origin of some components may be exploitative. Or if you value peace and justice, are you willing to sacrifice larger dividends from investments that do not actively pursue an ethical review. Look at the things you do spend time on, that you wont give up, that you sacrifice things for, and you have a true picture of your values.

But most values can be modified - they are influenced by understanding, exploration, reflection, and linking to other (more important) values. This is of vital importance to an organisation - because when we refer to 'commitment' to our vision, we are talking about sacrifice of lesser things - we are talking about values. And unless your people value the vision, it will not happen. Key to ensuring your vision is valued, is spending time in understanding and exploration, and in finding ways to link progress on the vision to your people's (other) values - both by logic, and by reward and recognition. On this website, we refer to this relationship between vision and values as Philosophy and we have a number of practical tools to assist in the development of values which support the vision. (For more on the principles which underpin philosophy, click here).

The tools that are shown on the 'Values' panel of the Big Picture are:

Value drivers; a pair of slides (117KB) which help to explore the key drivers and reinforcers of values in your organisation, and their impact on different aspects of the vision you are pursuing. Use the slides to consider what mechanisms you currently use, and to what extent, and also to consider what values and behaviours they actually do reinforce currently.

Within this, it is vitally important not to overlook the importance of spiritual values, which, while they are not contollable in the normal sense, are a tremendous force for good if you can see how they align to your organisation's vision and values. As an illustration of this, this entire website resource has arisen from my spiritual values.

Cultural coherence; a sustainable culture arises out of a mutually reinforcing (and therefore stable) set of values. Because of the importance of values, we recognise that it is the Board's responsibility to think through the required culture, how it interacts, and how it is maintained. These slides (142 KB) help the board to begin to explore this responsibility, and the role of vision in stepping from one culture to another.

Personal values; It is amazing, when you come to look at it deep down, how similar our personal values are. Often the biggest difference arises not from fundamentally different roots, but from how deeply we have explored our heart and motivations. And personal values, once each individual has made them clear and coherent, are a tremendous driver and energy for transformation and achievement. Once our values are clear and coherent, it becomes so much easier to work with those values that are inherently aligned and make compelling and efficient trades with those that are not. For an extract from Managing by Design on personal values, please click here. (MS Word 156 KB).

Pages 262-274 of Managing by Design can be found in Chapter 16, which can be read as a pdf file (104KB) by clicking the link above.

Chapter 2 of How To Build A Better Business can be read as a pdf file by clicking here.

Blank templates of this panel can be found in the Big Picture Storyboard file - these can be used to capture your own experiences and progress in this area (by annotating them either in PowerPoint, or as a printed panel), and then to physically cut and paste them onto the Big Picture to create your own storyboard of implementing systematic management in your organisation.

To explore another secion of the big picture, please click on the relevant area of the image below:

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