Are Your Values Adding Value?

A wise leader of any organization will spend significant time thinking through and carefully crafting organizational values. He understands as the team lives out these prescribed behaviors the organization is more likely to accomplish its mission.  While listing Core Values is a common practice, unfortunately living out core values is not.  In many cases organizational values are posted on a wall and forgotten or ignored.  In other cases the values are defined but no one is sure how they integrate into the daily life of the organization.  As a result the values lack the power and influence they’re intended to have.  So how do know if your values are adding value?

Here are four indicators that may help you find out.

Everyday language: You know your values are adding value when they become the common language that team members are using on a day-to-day basis. Keywords or phrases from your defined values are showing up in everyday conversations, meetings and in the way that others describe your organization. These words or phrases become insider language that your people understand and use to help move your organization towards the mission.  If you’re values are not showing up in everyday language it’s likely they’re not adding value.

Decision Making: Values can add a great clarity to your decision-making. Every decision you face has multiple options and the option you choose will either keep you on or get you off mission. Your values (I actually prefer to call them Core Behaviors) are a set of a pre-decided ways that you and your organization will behave.  Therefore if a decision doesn’t align with one or all of your values then you need to find an option that will.  These pre-decided behaviors are intended to keep you on mission.  If you’re not referring to your values in the midst of decision making then they’re not adding value.

Changed Behavior– Not everyone you bring into your organization automatically reflects your values.  That’s okay at the beginning but a clearly established set of values that are communicated regularly will overtime shape the behaviors of the individuals on your team.  This will bring greater alignment to the way people behave, think and make decisions in your organization.  If your values are not shaping the behaviors and decisions of individual team members they are not having their intended impact.

Clear Reputation – It doesn’t take too many touches for people outside your organization to quickly discern what you value.  Whether we like it or not what we value is highly visible.  This is why one of the leader’s greatest responsibilities is to manage and shape the corporate culture of his or her organization.  We do this by modeling and teaching the values/behaviors we expect.  When team members live out the values in daily activity others quickly pick up on “how we behave around here”.   And it’s those day-to-day expressions of our values that establish the reputation of our organization.  What is your church or company known for?  If you’re unhappy with the answer to that question then your values are not adding value.

What next steps do you need to take to ensure that your values are adding value?


Would you like to learn more about developing Values for your organization? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mac Lake

Mac Lake

I am the Chief Launch Officer of The Launch Network, a new church planting network based out of West Ridge Church in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. My role is to get The Launch Network up and running, networking with churches and planters to establish healthy church starts across the U.S. and the world. Our goal is to plant 1000 churches in the next 10 years. My passion is growing leaders for the local church. Every time I hear Bill Hybels say “The local church is the hope of the world” my heart comes out of my chest and it increases my sense of urgency for developing leaders who produce leaders.

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9 Posts Every Leader & Pastor Should Read | JoshuaReich.org — 02/05/16 3:50 am

[…] Are your Values Adding Value? by Mac Lake […]

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I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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