TUBA is starting 2019 by sharing some innovative insights on how you can build a culture of alignment at your workplace, and make it stand out. Having alignment within your team is actually one of those parallel concepts where the question that can continue to bite is: “What exactly is that perfect fit?”
Parallel design is a technique where two or more people create something based on the same set of requirements. With alignment, those requirements will take you back to your company’s vision and mission statement. The design itself then becomes a representation of the behaviors, actions, and decision-making strategies of the team. In other words, it is what the team’s values are.
With today’s turbulent climate having loyal baby boomers retire and millennials job surfing every two to three years, it’s not much wonder how the traditional values of stationary teams no longer apply to today’s workplace culture. Values are not meant to be set in stone. Values are meant to be based on what serves a company’s purpose and guide where it is going; not hold it back.
Values are defined in Oxford online dictionary to mean something that is useful. Therefore each time the dynamic of a team changes, by losing one person or gaining another, the need to revisit and revise the team’s values becomes a necessity. If not, alignment will cease to attain that mold of the perfect fit where the seams are tight and the movement is fluent.
Simon Sinek back in 2015 stated that; “Ideally we want to run all of our decisions through our values. Our values are enduring and this is what makes the foundation of an infinite contest. Our values are the ‘why’, and we all know that finding our ‘why’ is an ever-changing journey.”
Every team player is unique on your team. Although job positions can be refilled by different people, the person themselves is not replaceable. Each person brings and takes with them their own set of contributors that help to achieve something for the team. When this is lost, it’s going back and asking the question - “What is important to the current team members, and how do we as a team build on these principles with purpose?” That is what will answer the above question of how to attain that perfect fit.
Remember your team’s values are so much more than your team’s interests. They are the ethical standards or guiding principles agreed upon to be held by all. Which in turn will guide the team’s behaviors and decisions. Trust within your team can only be maintained when there is consistency and predictability of what guides the actions of each team player. Now more than ever values are the virtue that can help make this happen.
Revisiting and revising your values takes a collaborative step by step process:
Clarify to your team what the definition of a Value is.
Give personal examples of values you live by in your personal life.
Relay to the team the company’s vision and mission statement.
Have each team member write down 5 values they believe will serve the team’s purpose, and align with the company’s vision and mission statement.
Look for similar patterns within the team member’s concepts.
Using a parallel design technique:
a) Have each team member independently revisit the concepts.
b) Have each team member bridge the concepts together taking the insights from all team members.
c) Have each team member share their revised values for consideration.
d) Look for the strongest patterns of agreement and clarify by defining the final agreed upon values and how the team can move forward with them.
For additional insight on where your initial core values stem from and how to get back to what is currently important to you - check out this valuable read from The Chopra Center: