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Implementation of the company values system

Defining values in action

Support of values implementation - cascading values throughout the organization

2-day meeting for 35 managers

The challenge

A Polish company from the financial industry, part of an international group, has established a vision of the organization till the year 2020. In the last year some of the strategic priorities were reformulated and as a result activities aimed at the implementation of the vision have ceased. The management team was faced to the challenge of reminding managers about the value implementation process, refreshing its definition, determining behaviors that support each value and preparing the process how to communicate the values to the employees.

The solution

After analyzing the needs and discussing it with the Client, we have decided that the best way to restart the implementation process would be to conduct a workshop for managers which will, on one hand, allow participants to discover the meaning and impact of the values on the work of the team/organization and, on the other hand, it will define more precisely behaviors supporting each of the company values. Taking into account the fact that the outcome of the workshop should be transmitted to the whole organization, it was planned so that the managers’ work would result in the preparation of an action plan for the whole process as well as their individual commitment to the carry it out.

In order to attain the established goals the Client was offered a 1-day workshop addressed to managers and based on The New Commons Game which matched perfectly the Client’s needs. The game is constructed so that it requires participants to define precisely the objective of the game, the way to achieve it and act individually without any communication or insight in the decisions or behaviors of other participants.

The debriefing after the game consisted of explaining the simulation mechanics, calming down emotions and clarifying misunderstandings. Participants have drawn up a list of factors which, in their opinion, would help to succeed. They have also learnt which social traps are behind the mechanics revealed in the game. The workshop was based on the theory formulated by Nobel prize winner – Elinor Ostrom – how to overcome social traps with reference to values as common resources. Participants checked if and to what extent their organizational values might be a remedy to these traps.

The next step was to operationalize the values and establish a list of behavioral patterns that support and weaken the company values. Participants were also invited to make an individual declaration to change one of their behaviors in order to be coherent with the organizational values.
Then it was time to generate ideas for activities meant to support the implementation of values in the whole organization. It was organized in the form of ‘consultants’ fair’ – a kind of brainstorming combined with physical exercise. At the end participants planned their actions in the context of the teams in which they work on a daily basis.

The results

The workshop was highly evaluated both by participants and commissioners. Participants emphasized good organization, highly engaging experience, the quality of non-trivial conclusions and good alignment with/to the company reality. 70% of participants observed significant rise in their understanding of company values. Implementation activities defined by the managers have been used to plan further undertakings. Managers have been prepared and ready to implement values in the organization.