World Values Day is on Thursday 17 October 2019. 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 and this year’s core theme is Values and Wellbeing. Hot on the heels of the CIPR Inside conference last week, these topics feel top of mind.

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.

According to values expert Jackie Le Fevre, @MagmaEffect, 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.”

The link between values and wellbeing

According to the RSA: “Being aware of our values and living our lives in accordance with them has a significantly beneficial effect on our wellbeing. It makes us feel better, and makes us more resilient to stress, no matter what its immediate cause might be.

|It works the other way around too. If the way we treat ourselves and others is not in line with our values, then we will become stressed and our wellbeing will suffer. Take the healthcare sector, where this effect is termed ‘moral distress’ (we might call it ‘values distress’). Moral distress occurs when medical staff know the right thing to do for a patient, but institutional or other constraints make it impossible to do it.”

Source: The RSA.

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:

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.

More resources about Values and Wellbeing

How are you communicating World Values Day? If you have a story to share about your values, do get in touch and let me know.

Thank you for stopping by

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 15 October 2019.

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