World Values Day 2023


Today is World Values day, an annual campaign to increase the awareness and practice of values around the world, so it is a good opportunity for us to reflect on own values.

At Hyphen, we often talk about the importance of company values and how they are the foundation of everything we do, every decision we make and our motivators. There are four types of corporate values according to business expert, Patrick Lencioni:

Core values – These are the things that we do differently as an organisation and our competitive advantage. For example, our core values include: We work as One Hyphen and We challenge and expect to be challenged. Core values are the ones that we live by and the foundation of everything that we do. These are unique to Hyphen.

Aspirational values – These are the things that we don’t necessarily have now, but that we need to have to succeed as a business. Aspirational values are about things that we want to improve. They act as a guidance when we are navigating difficult situations or going through a period of change.

Permission to Play values – These are values that can never be compromised. These are the rules in the sense that, if you don’t abide by these values, you don’t have a place in the company. They are the fundamentals such as honesty, integrity, and respect. We have integrity is one of our Permission to Play values.

Accidental values – These are the things that can often arise in the culture of an organisation, but they are not always noticed or talked about. They can be negative values if they emerged from poor work practices, for example feeling like you must work long hours, or behaviour such as gossiping in the pub after work. Accidental values can also be positive, however, if they influence the right behaviours, such as celebrating success, giving credit to those we work with and supporting each other.

Values and culture go hand in hand. It is easy to assume that culture is an outcome of the company values being in place. It isn’t. Culture is not outcomes. Culture is the mindsets, assumptions and behaviours that produce outcomes. Different cultures can produce different outcomes and can prioritise different values.

Values are more aligned with principles that reflect the company vision (what the company aspires to be) rather than a reflection of how people actually behave. Behaviour comes from inspirational leadership. People and teams need to feel inspired and encouraged to demonstrate the right behaviours rather than simply being told to follow rules and regulations.

That’s why we have introduced a Leadership Development Programme as part of The Hyphen Academy this year. Accidental values are strongly influenced by leadership behaviours, so we want to empower our leadership teams to feel confident leading by example to influence good accidental values at Hyphen.

Find out more about opportunities at Hyphen

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