World Values Day is on Thursday 18 October 2018. It’s an opportunity to think about your most deeply held values and act on them.

Staying true to our values and acting on them has never been more important. This year’s core theme is about putting our values into action in our communities.

This article is packed with ideas, advice and guidance to help you learn, craft and communicate your values, including 10 things you can do today.

What are values?

Values are the things that are important to us, the foundation of our lives. They are deeply held principles that guide our choices and behaviours and influence our emotions. Values are the core of who we are.

They are our motivators, our drivers, the passion in our hearts and the reason why we do the things we do.

This month I’ve been running my brand new How to be a Comms Consultant Masterclasses. During both the Exploration and Momentum Masterclasses, we’ve been talking about values.

I have redesigned my whole business over the past 18 months to enable me to solely focus on what that taps into my personal values. It has been incredibly liberating and enabled me to  serve my clients in the best way to help them to succeed. I have a special offer for my Masterclass attendees to have their own values analysed. Contact me if you’d like to know more.

According to values expert Jackie Le Fevre, Director of Minessence International Cooperative and part of the team behind World Values Day, values are:

Values are abstract constructs – ideas – which either paint a picture of how we want the world to be (goals) or prioritise certain ways of doing things to that end (means).

Jackie says: “Values have been part and parcel of what it is to be human for hundreds of thousands of years. Values sit in the limbic area of the brain, below the pre-frontal cortex seat of logic and rationality, in a place where thoughts are processed in feelings not words: thoughts can be fleeting while often feelings persist.”

Want to prepare? Here are 10 things you can do:

  1. Check out the World Values Day website
  2. Take the World Values Day challenge
  3. Download the World Values Day Guide for Organisations
  4. Have a conversation with your manager or mentor/mentee about personal values
  5. Add values as a topic to your next team meeting – what do your peers think of your company values? Is there an integrity gap (between what you say and do)?
  6. Browse articles from the All Things IC blog (below) to read how others communicate their values
  7. Read some books on values. Here are three recommended by the team at World Values Day: Coaching with Values, Lindsay West, Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia and From My Heart, Transforming Lives Through Values, Dr Neil Hawkes
  8. Search the #WorldValuesDay hashtag on social media
  9. See @valuesday on Twitter and @valuesday on Instagram.
  10. See World Values Day on Facebook.

Further reading via my blog about values:

What will you do in your community this World Values Day? How does your organisation communicate its values?

Changing the code of conduct

According to the World Values Day website, CEOs are changing their values and code of conduct. It states: “The world is not just rapidly changing, it is being dramatically reshaped. Digitalisation changes the way we operate and interact. Social media creates direct, transparent and interdependent engagement between individuals in society and organisations. Machines are starting to outperform human thinking. This all raises the question of how we connect – heart to heart – with our stakeholders, including the communities we belong to. PwC’s CEO Pulse survey 2016 (Connecting the dots: how purpose can join your business*) shows that 75% of CEOs are changing their values and code of conduct to respond to stakeholder expectations.

“Having a strong purpose and clear values and behaviours defined will serve as a guidepost in your action and responses toward the future. It creates internal cohesion that supports achievement of organisational aims. It allows our stakeholders to hold us accountable for our actions and increases our brand value when we get this right.”

An organisation that has a culture based on shared values creates internal cohesion that supports the achievement of organisational aims and retention of motivated staff. These organisations will engage the long-term loyalty, engagement and energy of their talent. They will also secure the trust and loyalty of the communities that they belong to and interact with. Source: World Values Day website.

Why are values important?

The power of values can be harnessed to achieve key organisational aims and objectives by understanding what they are and how they drive behaviours and actions throughout the organisation. Values can also be harnessed to address and overcome whatever challenges stand in the way.

Research from Strategy& shows that organisations with a distinctive culture are…

  • 1.9 times more likely to grow revenue faster than competitors
  • 1.7 times more profitable than their industry peers
  • 2 times more likely to quickly translate important strategic and operational decisions into action

An organisation whose values are aligned with its members and stakeholders and which is therefore able to fully harness their energy and creativity will have a culture which is collaborative, resilient, productive and fully motivated to achieve its goals and objectives.

Our organisation doesn’t have official values. How do we go about identifying them?

Here is one way to find your values and decide which are the most important ones that you would like to see in your organisation (these will not necessarily be the same ones that you see there now).

It is important that not just the organisation’s leaders but as many people in the organisation as possible should participate in this exercise – from top to bottom, at all levels and in all departments.

See this guide for organisations on the World Values Day website for full instructions of how to use the table below.

What are you doing to communicate your values on Thursday?

Further reading via my blog about values:

As ever, you’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Thank you for stopping by

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller.

First published on the All Things IC blog 16 October 2018.

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