Updated: Mar 29, 2019
I read an article this morning, 5 Compelling Reasons To Scrap Your Corporate Values Today and I don't believe eliminating values is the answer to the poor leadership, bad decision making and poor corporate decisions as referenced in the article.
I believe that corporate values are to behaviour as vision is to strategy.
Leaders must use values to define appropriate behaviour, just as they use their aspirational vision to guide and direct strategy and tactics. Leaders are then responsible for ensuring the values based behaviours are upheld within the business and that they role model these themselves. Quite often this is where if falls apart, just as a vision will never be achieved if strategy is not aligned with it and there is no ongoing support and drive from leaders.
The article says that the answer is to have "self-aware leaders that understand the dynamics of their own behaviour because it is this that will shape and condition the corporate culture".
I am all for self aware leaders - and believe that the emotional intelligence of leaders is paramount and forms the basis of corporate culture.
Values are an essential part of defining the organisation's culture to set it apart from the competition and bring a team together who will support the company's direction (yes, vision!) through their values driven behaviour. Strong, self-aware leadership supports values and is not a replacement for them.
Without values you may have a team of leaders who have intrinsically different and opposing values that will inhibit the achievement of results, frustrate decision making and create a culture of negative conflict. Differing leadership values, driving inconsistent behaviour can lead to organisational silos.
In my experience, poor culture is contributed to by leaders who don't understand the importance of values driving behaviour, vision driving strategy and purpose as an engager to drive performance.