Smart Leaders Returning to Good Old-Fashioned Values with a New Twist
Values are back on top of the agenda for leaders as they navigate through the new connected and collaborative workforce.
While we’ve all been reinventing the way we work and live via social and digital channels, a cultural revolution has taken place around how much we collaborate and share on the Internet. People with working lives grasped this new way of working, along with the new empowerment for what they could stand for and become on social and digital channels.
The lines between personal and professional lives blurred forever.
In the background to these major shifts, company values slipped out of date for many organizations, sometimes becoming irrelevant for this new way of working and the opportunity that was created to do things differently.
With this greater openness and collaboration amongst people, companies have become more vulnerable. This vulnerability and risk calls for strong company values and a sense of purpose to guide what people do and say.
As a result, values are now back with a renewed importance on the corporate agenda. IBM’s 2011 leadership study “Leading Through Connections” references the importance of values in offsetting the risk involved in more open and collaborative workplaces. The study is based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,700 chief executive officers in 64 countries.
The report cites: “The Internet – especially through social networks – can provide a worldwide stage to any employee interaction, positive or negative. For organizations to operate effectively in this environment, employees must internalize and embody the organization’s values and mission.”
Growth market CEOs are taking action on values – they are 79 percent more likely than their mature market peers to be making significant changes to their organization values over the next three to five years. These are the same organizations that are driving greater openness and collaboration to deliver higher engagement and innovation throughout the organization.
Our sister agency Beyond recently executed a creative Facebook campaign to create and celebrating its values. Employees were tasked with taking fun photos involving their people and scenes from around the world that capture the values. They then posted the photo and the value statement on Facebook. It’s a very different approach to the old days in which values were handed to employees as a script to be learned rather than internalized as a personal belief system.
The Beyond example demonstrates the need for companies to approach values in a fresh way that collaborates with and truly engages employees. Here’s to a new way of looking at how we think about and create meaningful values and company purpose for people with working lives – people who integrate work into their life and not vice versa.
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Social Business News as part of a partnership with Text100.