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On a recent LinkedIn Facilitators group the question was posed, 

"Great facilitation techniques for getting at organizational values? Hello friends, I'm collecting techniques for helping management groups of 10-15 get at their values. We do the "values" sessions as a part of the strategic/annual plan. I've approached it several ways but am looking for great ideas to incorporate. Thank you!"

I am driven by values [principles] and have learned that when we operate out of our principles we rarely ever have to banter back and forth on an important decision because our values become our compass and guiding light to that clarity. 

Here was my response:

I am not sure what you incorporate as part of your "values" sessions, but here is what I have found successful. 

I believe that organizational values are strongly tied to the cultural ethos which is strongly tied to individual values. Organizational and individual values tend to push and pull at each other, not negatively, but in sharpening and deeply connecting that individual to the organization.

STEP 1: So I will typically go through a personal values process to help the individuals identify their personal values. Then do some exercises with each other that teach them how, if we can make decisions based off our values, we tend to make BETTER decisions.

Step 2: Then if we take the individual values and start to ask how do those build the corporate ethos, the value(s) of the organization can start to be realized. Keeping away from general values such as Enron -  "Integrity. Communication. Respect. Excellence."  Drilling them deeper and making them personal; core values can't be faked... ask Enron. They must identify why their company exists, it's purpose, then decide what values embrace that purpose.

Step 3: Then as a wrap up, discuss how each person's individual values works within and through the organization's values. This brings awareness to how each person, although different, can own the values and live with and in them. If those values can be owned across the entire enterprise - purchasing, HR, marketing, etc. then you have the ability to create the foundation for value-based relationships with partners and customers that command trust and loyalty. This then directly ties to an increase in income and decrease in loss because employees and management begin to 'own' the company more. IF we as consultants/facilitators can figure out from a value direction how to increase ROI then companies are much more eager to hire us and bring us back for extended contracts.

 
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