The Significance of Values in an Organization

Ten commandments of organizational values

The following are ten principles which, when followed, allow some organizations to perform at a higher level than others, and provide their members with greater personal satisfaction by belonging to them.

You can add, delete, or modify this list. It is just an exercise to show a way of presenting values more as behaviors than as theoretical concepts.  In this way, they have greater practical meaning for the members of your team.

These came to me as I began thinking about organizations in general. Organizations subscribe to any number of values, and the particular behaviors related to these values can be described with more specificity. Think of it as a starting point to develop your own list.

Honesty:

We offer what we can deliver, and work hard to achieve it. 

We act in an accurate and timely manner. We don’t leave things to chance. 

We honor and defend what belongs to others. We behave with integrity, consistently. 

We are genuine in what we do. We have only one face. 

We always act with justice in mind. We respect the truth. 

We don’t take advantage of the innocence or ignorance of others. 

Responsibility:

We accept responsibility for what we do or fail to do. 

We make decisions with special care and attention.

We assume responsibility for our actions and their consequences. 

Responsibility is an essential commitment towards others and ourselves. 

We honor our debts.

We are well-prepared. We plan and make an effort to work in an orderly fashion.

We recognize our mistakes and strive to correct them.

Communication:

We make an effort to listen to what others are trying to tell us. If we don’t understand, we ask.

We try to make sure that we are explaining things correctly.

We don’t take anything for granted. We don’t make assumptions.

We avoid labeling our interlocutors or their messages.

We avoid prejudice.

We don’t listen to gossip or rumors.

If we don’t receive the information we need, we look it up.

We don’t remain quiet when we have something to say.

We don’t miss any opportunity for self-improvement.

Sincerity:

We express ourselves freely, without dissembling.

We believe in truthfulness as the foundation for trust.

We say what we think, without harming others.

We act consistently with all people, and at all times.

We treat others with openness.

We believe in loyalty and transparency when we communicate.

Sincerity reflects appreciation for our teammates.

Respect:

We don’t look down on others or their opinions.

We act with consideration and respect towards other peoples’ feelings.

We appreciate those around us.

We make an effort to understand with empathy their points of view and the specific situations they are in.

We don’t look down on people when we interact with them.

We don’t insult or mistreat others.

We don’t assault others either physically or verbally.

We treat people with dignity.

Comradeship:

We create the success of our organization together.

Teamwork requires individual courage.

People who value this principle don’t avoid being in a team with members with whom they have less in common.

The best result is achieved when everybody in the team does the best they can for themselves and for the group.

We don’t achieve harmony by chance; it’s the result of the effort of the people in an organization. It’s based on knowing and appreciating all team members.

Solidarity:

We don’t just help; we also commit to and share the situations of others.

We give support to another human being in need.

We understand that for solidarity to exist, two people or communities are required.

It means helping without receiving anything in exchange, even if no one finds out about it, without expecting reciprocity.

It means abiding by common principles and implies sharing benefits and risks.

Tolerance:

We respectfully accept opinions that are different from ours.

We don’t discredit people who have points of view we don’t share. We accept them with genuine respect for the individual, even though we don’t see eye to eye.

Tolerance doesn’t mean making concessions. It isn’t indifference either.

It assumes that we know and accept the other person.

We choose to be tolerant because of our convictions.

It means understanding.

Tolerance implies willpower and maturity.

Learning:

We believe in constant improvement, learning from our everyday experiences.

We believe in the authority that knowledge, study and experience provide.

We therefore look for opportunities to update our knowledge, permanently and systematically.

We consider learning as a practical process of implementing behavioral change and adjustments, not just a way of expressing theoretical knowledge.

We say we learn after we have changed what was necessary to change.

Self improvement:

We are committed to improving what we do, every day, even if it’s just a small part of the whole.

It’s our ability and desire to overcome obstacles or difficulties. We’re motivated by it. 

Challenges inspire us.

We feel fulfilled as individuals when we make a conscious effort, because that’s where we see our potential.

We don’t do things half-way or because “it’s my duty”.

We believe in the power of discipline and perseverance.


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The Significance of Values in an Organization has been published by Cograf Comunicaciones. ISBN 978-980-12-3779-2.
Copyright 2008 Juan Carlos Jimenez. All rights reserved.



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