Most companies have a list of core values. Many of these lists look alike. I looked up some companies. The values of Accenture: Stewardship, Best People, Client Value Creation, One Global Network, Respect for the Individual and Integrity. Coca Cola: Leadership, Collaboration, Integrity, Accountability, Passion, Diversity and Quality. IBM: Dedication to every client’s success, Innovations that matter, for our company and the world and Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships. Google has a nice list of ’10 things we know to be true’. Number 1: Focus on the user and all else will follow. On 3: Fast is better than slow, on 9: You can be serious without a suit and on 10: Great just isn’t good enough.
No company will have values as: Greed, Squeeze as much as possible out of our people, or Individualism. Fons Trompenaars in one of his lectures I attended said: How do you feel when you enter the house of someone you just met, and there is a big sign in the hall that states: “In this house we will not murder’….
One of my clients added collaboration as a new value. The explanation: “We believe in diversity, the power of global teamwork and that by working as one we can deliver exceptional outcomes”. To me this looks like a good addition, as global collaboration is indeed one of the key success factors for the implementation of their strategy. The key question is if it helps to define collaboration as a key value. In the Oxford Dictionary one of the definitions of value is: “principles or standards of behavior”. This is important. The value is easily defined, but it has to be translated into ‘standards of behavior’. If collaboration is a core value, how can you recognize this in the behavior? For someone to be rated high on collaboration, what should she or he do very well? Some of the behaviors on my wish list for world class collaborators:
- Involves others in all phases of a project
- Listens well
- Connects with others before starting to implement solutions
- Shares information and insight easily
- Communicates concise and clearly
- Has a genuine interest in different people and different cultures
- Knows how to use different collaboration tools
- Is persistent
- Is patient
- Is forgiving
I am sure you can add to the list.