As an example of examining the fit between values and behaviors can reveal,
let's take as an example a consulting firm that I'll call Laser Consulting.
The core values of this firm may look fairly familiar.
They have the type of values that are stated by many different organizations.
Here's their basic statement of their core values and mission.
"We provide superior service at exceptional value through long-term client relationships;
We achieve this through hiring,
developing and retaining the best and brightest talent
and by fostering an environment of inclusion,
mutual collaboration, idea-sharing and innovation."
Now what are the implied management principles that underlie Laser Consulting statement?
If in fact they're living out their values and putting them into practice,
we would expect that the behaviors and
the management practices emphasize excellence throughout the firm,
efficient use of resources including their human capital resources,
we would expect that merit is the chief criterion in selection and advancement,
we would expect that the company emphasizes and
practices inclusion and does not discriminate against
any employees. And we would expect to see a culture of collaboration, of
open communication and sharing as employees
work together towards providing outstanding client service.
When we spoke to Laser Consulting employees however,
their confidential comments revealed that there was not
a good fit between the values espoused by the organization and the way it was
actually managed in practice. And that there were a number of areas for
improvement to create an organization that would support women's leadership development.
Here's a short sampling.
"The competition is ruthless.The most important career
strategy is to form relationships with powerful partners who can help to protect you."
There are work life policies on the books but to use them is
career suicide, you would be seen as a low performer.
People protect their own spheres of influence and work methods.
It's hard to get information,
there's a lot of secrecy.