Client’s Challenging Situation:
A family-business client wanted to have its corporate Values displayed in its lobby. Since they had not discussed Values for many years, the family wanted to perform a thorough decision-making process before finalizing their [family and] corporate Values and presenting them on the wall of the lobby at their business.
Scope of the Problem:
Some businesses post values that make them look good. For example, Enron touted its Value “Integrity” in several of its annual reports before it collapsed about 20 years ago. I have never met a family business leader who was comfortable posting Values that are not “real”.
Our client wanted to achieve family consensus on Values, 5 of them. They wanted a fresh approach to discussions of Values and selection of 5 Values.
For a few years, we had placed Values as the starting point for strategic planning sessions. We placed it ahead of Vision/Mission because we felt everyone, ourselves included, performed better during strategic planning sessions when individual’s Values were understood and consensus had resulted in creation of corporate Values.
For this client, we suggested it would be interesting to begin their strategic planning of Values by performing talents and strengths consulting prior to discussing Values. To initiate the talents and strengths session, all family members took Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment. As soon as the assessments were completed, this family embraced strengths-based leadership. And, the discussions of Values that ensued, were memorable for all of us. I have never experienced a better family Values consulting experience. Five Values were created. One of the Values was “Fun” and, no question, that word fit the family spirit and the business Vision perfectly.
The Value Delivered:
When time is taken and “discovery processes” are well planned and implemented, Values can be created to capture the true essence of people, families, and their businesses. Now, many years later, we all know the splendid work Gallup has done to link personal talents & strengths with Values. Then, when we helped a family create 5 Values, we could not anticipate just how well those Values would withstand the test of time.