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Values even in the tough times

As you know I am passionate about companies knowing and working to values. Know why you do what you do and the rest is easy. Of course this is easy to do when it is plain sailing but when the chips are down, what happens? Do we keep our Values even in the tough times?

Of late I have been watching the row that has gone on at Oldham Athletic Football Club with some great interest. I am not going to comment on what anyone should have done in that situation. It is for the club and individuals to decide. What I will say is that if you know your values, clearly then the decision would be easy. If your fans knew them too then they would never have disagreed with that decision. After all they would be fans of those values. Clearly this is somehow not the case in Oldham.

Sadly this is often the case in many organisations. The finest of intentioned places lose site of what they doing when it comes to doing it. EVERYTHING should be written, said and done through your standards values and vision. Every letter, email, decision, hiring, firing. Everything.

That way a CEO can make the most difficult of decisions quickly. Even if that decision is, “I no longer suit the values of this organisation and need to be replaced”. Even if that decision is, “my parking space is better suited being given to the disabled secretary we just hired” I will walk. Imagine how much everyone would believe and follow the person who walked that walk?

Far better than the poor examples of religious organisations I have see with senior members that are fine examples of members until they start to perform administration then they become awful people. Or company bosses who who expect you to work more and more for a shrinking wage and no recognition as “a given”. Managers who discipline people when they stop doing unpaid overtime. Or shouting at staff filling slack times with joy, jokes and laughter, perceiving it as wasting time.

Values are not just words for the wall. They are the perfect horizon we are walking towards. Nirvana, a vision so wonderful and clear that our customers help us get there, in good times and bad. Our suppliers want to come with us and every single person involved feels privileged and everyone outside feels a little jealous. This never happens by accident and only happens when everyone loves being present.

That is why I believe in values, and why I think they should be absolutely sacrosanct. Applicable to everyone, everyday, all the time.

Values even in the tough times, not just for Christmas.

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